View Google Docs On Windows Phone

Todd and I use Google Docs to keep track of what we write for this blog, and I also use Google Docs to edit several other personal documents. Consequently, we are both eager to find mobile apps that work with Google Docs. I recently learned about a Windows Phone 7 app named gdocs, so I had to check it out. Unfortunately, gdocs has many shortcomings that prevent it from being a worthwhile app.

First off, gdocs is only a Google docs viewer, you cannot edit documents. Second, it only displays in portrait, which means that it is really only useful for displaying word processing documents because spreadsheets are scrunched up on the screen. If you need to view a lot of word processing documents I did find that gdocs does make viewing such documents easier on Windows Phones than viewing them in Internet Explorer. Gdocs downloads a copy of the documents you open to the phone, so if you frequently refer to the same document it will open it quickly and without an Internet connection.

Unlike web browsers on other smartphones, Google Docs treats Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 7 like a desktop web browser, which means you can access the full web version of Google Docs on the phone. I find the HD7 displays Google Docs spreadsheets in landscape very well, but unfortunately, I have found it nearly impossible to edit spreadsheets. You can load the mobile version of Google Docs in Internet Explorer by opening docs.google.com/m, but unfortunately the mobile version renders even worse. As far as I can tell, it is not possible to actually edit Google Docs on Windows Phone 7.