As early as 2013, Google Drive users could save Slides, Sheets, and Docs offline. There was just one major caveat, once you selected the offline option, Google Drive kept a huge chunk of files on your device.
In an update released today, Google Drive has addressed this problem and now enables users save individual documents offline. You can use this option by going to the home screen of either the Slide, Sheet or Doc you are working on, click on the overflow menu (the three dots) on the file you want to avail offline. The toggle the ‘available offline’ switch to on.
However, this update only works when you are using Google Chrome browser on the desktop. We expect the update also to roll out in other platforms where users use Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
The pinch of too many files being saved offline by Google Drive was probably felt most by power users and corporate organizations working with the premium Google’s ‘apps for work’ service. They generate hundreds, sometimes even thousands of files offline, thus eating up on the storage space on users’ devices. For these users, the update is a long-awaited improvement on the Google Drive.
On its part, Google has just realized the head start it has enjoyed over Microsoft, but the Windows company is catching up, and catching up fast with its Office 2016. For a long time, Microsoft has been offering the best of its class Doc, Sheet, and Slides services; they have always run offline. However, with Office 2016, Microsoft has taken to the cloud and availed these services online in much the same way Google Docs and other services works.
Google has all the reasons to be worried lest it loses market to Microsoft upcoming cloud services for Docs, Sheet, and Slides.