Google has been rolling out updates to the Google Drive app, now on v1.3. Updates include the release of a new Docs and Sheets app for those who wish to only access specific types of data for editing and collaboration. With the latest Google Drive App update, the ability to edit those types of documents in your Drive has been removed unless you install those specific apps.
This might sound like a removal of functionality, but it’s actually a streamlining measure. Google’s Docs App was getting a little top-heavy as capabilities increased. To mitigate that, since many users access only one type of document or the other on their mobiles regularly, it became apparently that splitting them off would be a good way to trim down resource use.
If the apps are installed, of course, the loading of documents for editing is largely seamless, but if they are not installed, users will be prompted to do so before they can edit.
This also paves the way for the upcoming Slides app for presentations, which will also work seamlessly with the Docs App as the others do.
All together, this is good thinking by Google and creates a clear path towards keeping their apps small, fast, and functional going forward.