After the Google Drive app’s last update for iOS and Android, the lack of spreadsheet collaboration and editing was a rather glaring omission since the update did allow users to make changes to other types of documents. It has taken a couple of months, but Google has finally resolved the issue and now you can finally edit your Google Drive spreadsheets right from your smartphone or tablet. The editing options are quite thorough, allowing you to both style the text and tinker with the structure of the spreadsheet. Collaborative editing of spreadsheets works the same as collaboration for other documents, with options that include setting permissions for other users and seeing the exact point in the sheet that is being edited by a collaborator at any given time.
After you update it, Google Drive will come up with a short tutorial to highlight the editing procedure for spreadsheets. This is what you need to do in order to take full control of spreadsheets on your iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet:
- You can create a new spreadsheet by tapping the ‘+’ button in the top-right corner of the main screen. The update also enables users to open XLS files received in email with the Drive app.
- Once a spreadsheet is in your Drive account, hit the arrow next to its name if you want to add collaborators for the file. You can grant editing or read-only rights to any of your Google contacts.
- Open the file and hit the icon in the top-right corner. This opens the small ‘Current Viewers’ window, letting you see what any collaborator is doing at the moment. The app even highlights the actual cell that is being altered, along with a small badge showing the editor’s name (much like the web version of Google Docs).
- To edit a spreadsheet yourself, tap a cell once to select it. Multiple cells can be selected by tapping one and then dragging the blue border outwards.
- Formatting options for cells (accessible from the top bar once a cell has been selected) include the choice of border style, text wrapping and merging of multiple columns.
- When a cell is double-tapped, the option to add text or numbers to it becomes available. Swipe across the top bar and you will see that there is a decent array of editing options on show. You can tinker with text size, style, font, color, background color and indentation.
Apart from these editing features, Google Drive for Android now lets users create home screen shortcuts for individual files and preserves text formatting when you paste something to a Drive document from an external source. The iOS version of the app sports a new ‘Uploads’ section on its main page where users can see all the recent additions to their Drive account.
Google Drive is a free app, and can be downloaded for iOS and Android from the links given below.