1. ICSOFT's Avatar
    In recent years Google has developed an online document storage system. However, it is not always easy to find a Macbook and get access to the Internet. Two applications, Google Drive and iDocs, both provide us with the opportunity to view documents on iPhone and iPad. Now let's have a further look into these two apps.

    Google Drive

    Google Drive is the official iOS version of Google Docs. Like its web version, it is a good application for managing files.

    ● Syncs with desktop and mobile apps
    ● Google Docs integration;
    ● Documents not editable
    ● Fixed file sequence.

    On the interface of Google Drive, navigation bar will appear on the left of screen and list of files will be displayed on the right. All of the buttons can be easily recognized. Users can hardly have the chance to check the help file. The problem is that if users want to locate to a specific folder, they will have to go to 'My Drive' to find it. Moreover, there is only one set order of files, which also will result in locating problem.

    One special category in Google Drive is the 'offline' files. Users can choose if they want a document to be downloaded and read offline. All offline files can be viewed in this category. This serves a very essential role when users' mobile devices are having poor signals.

    Google Drive remains the function of marking up important files on Google Docs. Tap the grey star in front of the file name and it will turn into yellow. Users can see all of their marked documents in the category of 'starred'.Sharing the files with colleagues or friends is also available with Google Drive. Users can choose different authorities for person he shares files with: 'can view' or 'can edit'. They will be notified of this sharing and can check it in the 'shared with me' category. In the detail page users can see to whom the document is available.

    A main limitation of Google Drive is that users cannot use it to edit documents. This might be a problem for those who want to make an amendment. And unlike its web version, Google Drive does not allow users to create or add files to it, nor can it play music saved in Google Docs, which makes Google Drive a mere tool for viewing and managing files.


    As a third party app, iDocs also provides us the opportunity to view these documents on iOS devices. What's more, it enables users to edit their documents.

    ● Editing features
    ● Creation of new document available;
    ● No 'shared with me' category.

    iDocs has a silver-grey background, which brings a brighter look than Google Docs'. Its interface is also a user friendly one. Shown on the left are navigation bars, while the other side is the contents of folders. Compared with Google Drive, in iDocs users may feel free to amend or update their documents. In spreadsheet, for example, the list of folders on bottom left helps users better locate and switch between their folders.

    The most important feature of iDocs is that users may rewrite any unit by tapping on it and inputting the new data. Any amendment will be saved automatically and will sync with Google Docs / Drive. Other users who are shared with this document can also view the updated one in their apps.

    Another special function iDocs provides is the creation of new documents, such as document and spreadsheet. All these created files will be automatically synced with Google Docs. Furthermore, music files stored in Google Docs can be downloaded to iDocs through the internet and users can listen to them in the app. Obviously from this perspective, iDocs is closer to the original Google Docs than the official app of Google.

    Renaming documents is easier in iDocs. Tap the file name on the top of interface and it can be directly changed. Another advantage of iDocs is that the sequence of files can be changed. Tap 'title', 'owner', or 'last modified' and the files will be ordered accordingly.

    The marking and sharing functions of iDocs are quite the same with Google Docs and Google Drive. In the category of 'starred' document all marked files will be displayed. To share the files with others, simply touch the button on the upper right corner of the screen. Users can choose to share the document with many people at the same time.

    However, there are still problems with iDocs. There is no specific category for documents one's friends have shared with him. Users have to either search for it among their many documents or go online to see this category in Google web page. For those who want to specifically check the documents others shared with them, iDocs is not as handy as Google Docs.


    In sum, The official app of Google Drive is a good app for managing files on iOS devices, though it lacks many functions compared with Google Docs. iDocs, as a third party app, has made advances in making documents editable and enabling creation of new documents. If you simply need to view your documents and images on your iPhone or iPad, Google Drive can help. But if you want an app where you can view and edit your files, iDocs is your absolute choice.

    To download, please enter the websites below:

    Google Drive: App Store - Google Drive

    iDocs Pro: App Store - iDocs Pro for Google Docs
    iDocs HD: iDocs HD Pro for Google Docs
    07-12-2012 11:56 PM
  2. KenL's Avatar
    Very nice overview of these two options. It might be worthwhile to point out the storage amount available. According to Google:
    "Google Drive: 5 GB for your synced and uploaded files. Google Docs and files converted to Google Docs format don't take up storage space."

    If this is not enough space, you can increase your storage with a monthly payment. Complete details here: How Google storage plans work - Google Drive Help
    08-28-2012 07:27 PM
  3. itoutsourcing's Avatar
    It is great info regarding Google Drive VS iDocs; Thanks for sharing!
    09-15-2012 07:12 AM