Throwback Wednesday? Google Docs returns from the dustbin

After tying its standalone word-processing app to its Google Drive cloud-storage service, Google reintroduces it as a separate entity, letting people store files locally and work offline.

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What's old is new again: Google brings back the Google Docs app. Google

Welcome back, Google Docs.

Google resurrected standalone mobile apps for Google Docs and Google Sheets on Wednesday, two years after folding the services into Google Drive.

The new Docs and Sheets apps for creating and editing documents and spreadsheets on Android and iOS are available now on Google Play (Docs) (Sheets) and in the App Store (Docs) (Sheets), with a Google Slides app for presentations "coming soon," Google said.

The new apps make it easier for people who use only specific file types to find them, but the change also lets you work on documents and spreadsheets even when you're not connected to the Internet. You can still access your Docs and Sheets from Drive.

You can find your files just easily in Google Docs as you can in Google Drive. Google originally introduced Drive as a way to bundle all of its productivity apps together while creating a Dropbox competitor, but it seems that the Docs branding was too strong for people to let go.

The reintroduction of Docs and Sheets adds a third method by which people can get to their Google Drive-hosted documents and files. In addition to Google Drive, and the new Google Docs and Sheets apps, Google users have QuickOffice. QuickOffice is a bit more business oriented, as it combines Google Drive access with the ability to open Microsoft Office files, though you can do that with most Microsoft Office files in Google Drive, too.

Google declined to clarify how it expects each app to be used.

Update, 5:05 p.m. PT: Adds background.


 

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