Google Docs App Turns Your Phone Into A Portable Scanner
If you're a fan of Google, you live with the constant contradiction that Google brings to most of their products. Irresistible features you can't find anywhere else combined with a lack of focus on the basics. Keeping with this tradition, today Google released a native Android app for Google Docs.
The amazing part? Take a picture of a document with your camera and the app turns it into an editable document. Google uses optical character recognition (OCR) to convert the pictures into text. And it does that pretty well. It looks like the actual processing is done on Google's servers, which makes it faster and more accurate. What loses out in the equation is an app that feels like it's worth downloading. It feels like they took the web interface and loaded it into the app, which means you can't really edit documents offline. That’s not a small detail either. If you're the kind of person who needs an app to edit documents, you can't use this one. And if you are downloading an app for documents, why would you download more than one?
And that in a nutshell is what it's like with a lot of Google Apps. Their stock messaging app is integrated nicely into every part of the OS, but it lacks many of the features that other apps in the Market have had for years. YouTube Remote allows you to control YouTube from your phone, but it's still not as simple as launching the app and selecting the device you want to control. Google loves the big picture stuff, but it shouldn't come at the expense of the basic features that make something useful.
The good news here is that this new app does give you a simple way to share documents with your contacts and viewing documents is pretty straightforward. And, there is a nice widget, which will probably come in handy more for tablets than phones, that gives you quick access to create a new document.
You can download Google Docs from the Android Market.