Quick Tip: Edit Google Drive documents offline on your iPad or Android tablet

by Doug Drinkwater

July 16 2013

Looking to open that document, spreadsheet or photo, but away from an Internet connection to get into Google Drive? This is what you need to do next time on your iPad or Android tablet.

The process is the same whatever device you’re on, although obviously the UI is slightly different on the Google Drive apps for Android and iOS (which are both free from their respective app stores).

Each app presents a pretty simple landing page and offers options for My Drive (where your files are stored), Shared with Me, Starred (favorite items), Recent and Offline.

The iPad app, which also has an option for recently uploaded, shows these categories down a left-sided pane in a similar way to the web desktop version, although the latter has more features. Android tablet owners will see a vertical list of categories.

To allow offline access, you’ll need to go into My Drive and then tap the arrow next to your designated file. You’ll then need to touch the ‘Available Offline’ slider towards the bottom.

Accessing and editing these files when offline is easy enough. You just have to head to the Offline section and then tap on the document. After doing that, you’ll be able to read the document and open it for editing in third-party apps on your device, such as Quickoffice, CloudOn or SkyDrive.

Of course, there are other options for sharing documents on Google Drive. You can see who has recently modified or opened a file and allow other users to access a file by adding a person’s email address.

By doing this, you can set whether the person in question has the power to edit, comment or just view the designated file.

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