Why I am not switching to Google Docs

By now you’ve probably seen that google has updates it’s Docs online office suite/storage capabilities to finally allow creation and editing directly on iOS devices.

This is pretty big news for those of us using our iPads as our primary computers. I was pretty excited about this development, thinking that perhaps I’d finally found my “one workflow to rule them all,” something that could replace my iWork/Goodreader/iDisk/dropbox/AirSharing set up currently in use.

After some fairly substantial playing around with the updated capabilities, unfortunately I have to pass, and continue to wait for Apple’s (presumably forthcoming) solution.

There are three primary reasons for this decision:

1) I find the google docs spreadsheet tool quite strange. I tried creating a new spreadsheet as well as editing an existing one and…jeez if you think Apple’s Numbers interface is unintuitive on the iPad, wait until you try this. I feel like I gave it a fair go, updating one of my business expense spreadsheets as I do 1-2x each month. Maybe I’m just not that bright, or I’ve already gotten used to Numbers, but if I had to use google docs for spreadsheets I would probably avoid spreadsheet work like the plague.

2) There is STILL no way to easily bulk upload folders and files to google docs. Part of migrating means moving around 20 gigs worth of files. A quick search reveals that there is no way to do this despite the fact that people have been clamoring for it for a long time. Kind of a deal breaker.

3) I have to assume (hope) that Apple will ultimately get around to presenting a more thought out, baked in, soup to nuts productivity solution. One that will likely be a better overall value proposition, and without forcing us to perform funky workflow workarounds.

We already have decent productivity tools in the iWork apps (which can of course be improved). Printing is coming (though hopefully the apparent reduction in AirPrint capabilities will be rectified shortly). And a file system of sorts exists in iDisk.

All that’s left for Apple to do is unify them, tying them all up in a neat bow the way we know Apple is capable of doing if only they’d give it some hard thought.

Come on SJ, we’re waiting. Please don’t disappoint!

About Tony Moody

I make movies. I wield a Les Paul and an iPad. I consume media - copious amounts. And I dabble in assorted nonsense. What do you do? iPadAlone.com Indalo.biz
This entry was posted in Apps, Features, Musings, News, OS operating system and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Why I am not switching to Google Docs

  1. Martin Hald says:

    Hey!
    I am in the same situation as you, just lost my mac and bought an iPad instead.
    What have you done to keep your documents organized?
    Is it possible to do so, and still using pages to edit files?

    Greetings, Martin

    • yoyoyankees says:

      Hello Martin and thanks for posting.

      I have found that Goodreader is the single most important app currently available for the iPad. It does an absolutely remarkable amount, and goes “nearly all the way” in overcoming the workflow/usability shortcomings that Apple has left in iOS.

      First and perhaps most saliently, tha app acts as a rather robust file system, providing the ability to create, move, nest, cut/copy/paste, email, and prong (via AirPrint) files and folders. Basically, it’s like a finder.

      But it also does so much more. It can link to iDisk, Dropbox and other file storage systems. It can also link to your email for easy grabbing of attached files. It can link to your Mac wirelessly to transfer files on and off (ie no need to use the awful iTunes file sync process).

      And it can use the “Open In” command to get files from Goodreader into say Pages (or any other app subscribed to a particular type of file).

      The ONE missing piece is a way to easily get files fromm productivity apps like Pages BACK into Goodreader. What I do is send them from Pages to iDisk, and then grab them from iDisk when using Goodreader. Imperfect yes, but until Apple puts the Open In command inside of Pages, OR until Apple makes iDisk as robust as Goodreader, this is the best overall solution I have found.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions.

      Oh one more note. There are other file system type apps, including some with far more familiar UIs and greater ease of use (Air Sharing is one). However, I use Goodreader because of it’s speed and power. When searching for apps it is WAY faster and more responsive than any other I’ve found…

      • Martin Hald says:

        Thanks for your answer!
        I will try the solutions you have come up with. And hopefully apple will allow import from, and export to other apps in the future..

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