Google Separates Doc and Sheet Editing from Google Drive App

If you thought Google was done with its app reworking following this week’s debut of dedicated Docs and Sheets apps for iOS and Android, you’d be wrong.

According to a new report from Android Police, Google is updating its primary Google Drive app to remove the ability to edit documents and spreadsheets within the app itself.

If you go to edit one of these files, the app will instead prompt you to install the separate Docs or Sheets apps. Once you’ve done that, editing your files from Google Drive will be a pretty similar process to how it was before. Only, instead of making changes via Drive, Drive will instead pull up Docs or Sheets for you.

Got it?

If the experience seems strange, there’s a small silver lining: Splitting Docs and Sheet into separate apps and removing their functionality from Google Drive might possibly allow Google to make more changes to either without having to push out a new iteration of Google Drive each time. And it does make sense, conceptually: Drive is for cloud storage and file management, Docs is for document editing, Sheets is for spreadsheets, and the allegedly upcoming Slides app is for presentations and Drawings — we presume — is for doodling and note-taking.

That said, Google’s changes don’t appear to be going swimmingly for all users.

“Perhaps it is just me, but there is some new and confusing behavior when working across multiple devices in this new multiple App system,” writes GottaBeMobile’s Warner Crocker.

“New documents saved to Google Drive from either Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel on a MacBook Pro will show up in the Google Drive App. Those documents can be opened and viewed. But they do not show up in either Google Drive or Google Sheets, unlike Word and Excel documents that were stored in my Google Drive prior to these new stand alone Apps and the Google Drive update. It is almost like these new documents created on another non-iOS device are orphaned somehow.”

Other changes arriving as part of Google Drive’s update include the addition of a new passcode locking feature that allows you to protect the contents of your Drive app with a four-digit key. You can use the same key for each device where you have installed Google Drive, or you can use a different key for your tablet and smartphone, for example.

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