Google unveils Slides app for Android

Google has unveiled a standalone Slides app for Android, with the company offering users the ability to create and edit slideshows via their mobile devices, even if they are offline.

Almost two months after Google released its standalone Docs and Sheets apps for Android, the internet giant has unveiled its Slides mobile app, allowing Android users create and edit slideshows with or without an internet connection.

The app was announced by Google's head of Android development, Sundar Pichai, at the company's I/O developer conference in San Francisco this week. It is available for Android users immediately and will be available for iOS in "the coming weeks", according to Google.

Google Docs and Sheets have been available to users via Google Drive online for the past couple of years. However, they were untangled from the Drive suite on 30 April, allowing users to create and edit word documents and and spreadsheets without being connected to the internet, by using the standalone apps on their mobile devices.

Pichai also announced the addition of native Microsoft Office editing for Google Docs, allowing users to open and edit Microsoft Word documents in Google Docs without conversion, along with a new Chrome extension allowing users to edit and share files directly from Google Drive, Gmail, or from their Chromebooks.

According to Google, the updates are available from 25 June, but may take "a couple of days" to fully rollout.

The new additions are all part of Google's push to capture more of the enterprise market, with the company's freshly unveiled "Android for Work" program, set to arrive along with its upcoming Android L mobile platform release — complete with updated user interface and revamped notification system.

"As we bring Android for work, one of the important use cases we care about is productivity, documents collaboration," said Pichai, during his keynote presentation at the I/O conference. "We've always had great mobile apps for Google Docs and Sheets, and today we are also announcing Google Slides so that you can create and share presentations straight from your mobile devices."

Pichai said the new native Office editing capability for Google's productivity suite has been made possible thanks to its integration of Quickoffice, which the company acquired two years ago.

"We want to make sure office files work seamlessly, we acquired Quickoffice and we've been hard at work integrating Quickoffice into Google Docs. Today, we are announcing native office editing built within the Google Docs' native editors," he said.

The company also announced a new premium option for users. Dubbed "Google Drive for Work", the new package sees Google offer unlimited cloud storage space with extra audit reporting and security controls at a rate of US$10 per user per month.

Another enterprise-focused development to be revealed at the conference this week was the adoption of Samsung's Knox Security technology for Android integration, allowing developers to add more enterprise features to their apps, according to Google.