Google has updated the mobile application for its web-based Google Docs office suite, enabling users with Android smartphones and tablets to access their files offline.
The internet giant announced the update on its Google Enterprise Blog, explaining it was adding the feature to help users access documents in their online Google Docs account at times when they may not have an internet connection.
For mobile workers, this feature enables them to choose key documents they wish to have available offline, such as when on an aircraft in mid-flight, for example.
To ensure a specific file is available offline, users need to select this option while viewing their documents list online.
However, users can request a file be made available while offline, and the document will update when the device next connects to the internet.
Files that can be made available offline include Google presentations, Google spreadsheets, uploaded images, plus PDF files and Microsoft Office documents.
While users can view these documents offline, editing is not currently supported in disconnected mode, according to Google.
Google also said it has improved the reading experience for those accessing Google Docs on an Android tablet.
Users now see a high-resolution version of the document, and can swipe left and right to flip between pages, while a slider at the bottom of the page provides for speedier navigation.
The updated Google Docs is a free download from the Android Market app store.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.