Google Drive iPad App – Why Did They Even Bother?

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Google Drive iPad Icon

The Google Drive app for iPad and iOS was released last week. In my post about the release of Google Drive and Chrome for iPad I spoke too soon, in saying that it was good to see that both these apps have proper iPad versions.

Sadly, it turns out the Google drive app is nothing like a proper iPad app. It’s an app that only lets you view or share your Google Docs / Google Drive documents. The app does not offer any editing capability right now.

The Google Drive Android app allows editing. 3rd party apps like Office2 HD allow editing of all types of Google Docs. So this really begs the question why Google even bothered to release this for iOS?

I don’t see much of any use for this app and other than as a gesture of ‘we don’t care about iOS’ I can’t think of a reason to have released it.

Do any of you find the Google Drive app useful at all?

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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29 thoughts on “Google Drive iPad App – Why Did They Even Bother?”

  1. Yeah, I find it useful. Really useful. I have a ton of family recipes in Google Docs that I can now easily see on my iPad. I can also access all of my other docs and photos that I have uploaded to Google Drive. G Drive is so much less expensive than Dropbox it’s not even funny.

    Like most Google apps, G Drive started off as a fairly basic app. It will get more features as time goes on. However, at present I am very glad that the app is available for the reasons noted above.

  2. I completely agree. With all the exciting news about offline editing, it was very disappointing to open this app and find it to be virtually useless.

  3. Yup…..Just removed it and will be happy to re-install once it can be of real use to me by enabling editing capability.

  4. Patrick do you even have the slightest understanding how iOS works? Those features are restricted by Apple so you are forced to use the iCloud joke. Sounds like you need to get yourself an android device as it does anything your mind can think of.

    1. Why yes, I believe I do have a good understanding of how iOS works. I also happen to have used the Office2 HD app which allows you to access, view AND edit Google Docs. Other 3rd party apps do this too. There’s nothing at all in iOS right now that prevents Google’s Drive app from doing the same.

      You may have wanted to read my post more closely and you might have noticed the mention of Office2 HD.

      1. Well said, Patrick. I see it more as a result of the growing competition between Apple and Google. I think we will continue to see a drop in compatibility between them as they jockey for total control. It’s all very disappointing to me because I am a big fan of both companies. Right now, I straddle both worlds with an iPad, old MacBook pro, and an Android phone.

      2. patrick, Just happend to come here from Google searching for comparison of using Google Drive (not the app, but Google Drive itself) and buying Office2HD. I wonder what the differences are now? I think Google Drive will accept/send an update any document from PC or iPad through its site . So what is the unique value of Office2HD?
        Regards from Japan

  5. Buy Readdle Docs and get a DropBox account and your complaints for ANYTHING like this will be remedied in mear minutes or how ever fast you learn to use it.

    If you are a web devs or have a you own webserver online, you can access 150GB worth of data like I can all via my iPad via ReaddleDocs. I can edit, save, email and download directly on my iPad on my server. I’ve shown you the path, it is up to you to discover.

    1. Who’s this suggestion aimed at? I’ve used Dropbox and Reaaddle Docs for years – but that’s not what this post is about. It’s about the hamstrung nature of the Google Drive app.

      1. As I mention, I may be wrong, but isn’t the Google Drive itself, supplanting both Dropbox and Office2HD with all its features. Again I repeat I am not talking about the app, but direct use of Google Drive. I think there is a difference between use of GD and the Google Drive app.

  6. Yes, I agree huge disappointment! I use google apps and wish they would get their act together. I’ve bought other apps to try and find a solution and they’re all disapointing

  7. I am really happy that Google released this app. I have a lot of documents, and recipes as well, saved in Google Docs/Drive and I can now easily access them from my iPhone and iPad.

    I really don’t have any need to edit my Google Drive docs from my phone, but I can see how some people would. I am sure that the Google Drive app will be updated with new features soon. At present, however, the fact that I can actually access my Google Drive stuff on my iPhone is fantastic.

    I also like Dropbox but Google Drive is *so* much cheaper that I will never pay for Dropbox again. Patrick, I’m a little surprised that you are so anti Google Drive app. Okay, so you want to edit documents, I get that. But does that mean that the entire app should never have been released?

  8. Yes, good for google docs. And also for pdf’s. I found the way with good reader and iTunes always very complex.

    It might also be easy to use with photos but that I still have to test out. (I’m not so happy with the way Apple tries to dictate the way of organizing the photos.

  9. So annoying! I just got an ipad and can’t believe I can’t edit my google docs on it….now it’s back to the laptop for that sigh! What can I use to edit google docs on ipad is there another app that works?

      1. I have been using Office2 HD for the past few weeks while traveling and it works really well. Not perfect, but a great solution. I contacted developers about some of the major flaws (no auto save and lack of many hotkeys) and they are working on both. They said autosave is coming very soon.

      1. Thanks Patrick, I’ve installed the Google Drive app but still don’t know what to do with it. Also, can I plug my iPad into, my tv? if so, what cable do I need?

        1. If you want to upload to Google Drive you need the Office 2 HD app, not the Google Drive app.

          The iPad can be connected to an HDTV via an HDMI cable for mirroring its content, or wirelessly if you get an Apple TV.

  10. They finally added editing capability on Google Drive for iPad. So I downloaded the app as soon as I found out. I look forward to using it extensively now that it can be of use to me.

  11. Until Google Drive for iPad supports and empowers saving work docs to it what is the point. Completely useless. Llike a car with an engine but no wheels it is worthless to me. Why did they even ship this. Really? As a CEO and Google Apps user I had hghi hopes of how this would expland our productivity, but instead my orgazation will need to go back to Dropbox.

  12. This app is dumb. As someone who needs to be on the ground collecting data, I was excited about this app until I noticed that you can’t edit a damn thing. What is the point of this crap, er app? A complete waste of my time.

  13. YOU CAN EDIT and it has been this way for some time now.
    Buzzy and Damien’s issues must be due to user error.
    I have been using it with no problem for months.

    1. You can edit, NOW. I believe that’s the capitalization you were looking for. You could not edit, at all, when the app was released and when this post was written.

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