Google launches Slides app, adds mobile Office editing features

Docs, Sheets and Slides are now available for the iPhone and iPad, making Google's full suite of productivity apps accessible on all of its major platforms.

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The Google Enterprise team announced that it has finally made Docs, Sheets and Slides available for the iPhone and iPad, meaning that Google's full suite of productivity apps is now accessible on all of its major platforms.

As for Slides, the app is no longer locked in Google Drive and is instead available as a standalone app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

The team made a promise in June that mobility was the next priority on its mission to make its entire productivity suite compatible with Microsoft Office. With compatibility extending to all mobile devices, users are now able to edit and share Office files without having the program installed on the device.

With the addition of iOS compatibility, Google said it's now possible "to work with any file, on any device, any time."

Google software engineer Li-Wei Lee wrote in a blog post announcing the new features:

Whether you're working on a file originally created in Microsoft Office, or one created in Docs, Sheets or Slides on an Android phone, tablet, iPhone, iPad, Chromebook or laptop, with or without an internet connection, you can do all this and more with Google Apps. 

While the upgrades are an indication that Google is willing to make its platform compatible with others to foster productivity, it's also a sign that the company is positioning its apps as an alternative for businesses looking to break away from unused Office subscriptions. Google noted that, according to Softwatch, "about 80 percent of Office licenses are only lightly used, with many employees only working with Office for a handful of minutes a day or not at all." 

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