Late last month, we saw Google release stand-alone Docs and Sheets apps, with the promise of a third, Slides, on its way. These were designed to give users extended document creation and editing abilities beyond those already present in Google Drive. Sure, the idea of juggling multiple apps instead of doing everything from Drive might sound a little cumbersome, but we always like seeing companies giving smartphone users more options. As it turns out, though, the introduction of Docs and Sheets isn’t so much an alternate way to work with their respective files, but the only one going forward, as Google start pushing all Drive edits out to these companion apps.
An update to Drive, headed out today, forces users to turn to Docs and Sheets for editing files stored on Drive – there’s no longer the option to use the (admittedly limited) internal editor.
Honestly, this is almost certainly a good thing; Google will want to put its best foot forward (especially with competition from Microsoft Office 365), and making sure users are taking advantage of the most robust ways to interact with their Drive files is a smart way to ensure that they’re getting the best experience possible.
That said, smartphone users can be a fiercely independent bunch, and there’s bound to be a little push-back any time you take away existing functionality and declare “there’s a new way to do things from here on out.” In the end, we’ll all get used to managing our files in Drive and editing them elsewhere.