Google is expanding the functionality of its cloud-based Drive document management service for iOS and Android users. Starting today, users of the iOS Drive app will have the same document-editing ability that users of the Android Drive app already possess.

iOS Drive app users can also now create new documents and format text. In addition, they now have the same instant view of other people’s edits they previously had on the desktop. Other iOS Drive app upgrades include the ability to view Google presentations via iPhone or iPad, including speaker notes, full-screen mode and the ability to swipe between slides.


Furthermore, users have gained the ability to create new folders, move files into folders and upload content directly from their iOS devices. 

Android Users Not Left Out

Google is also updating the Drive app for Android phones and tablets today. New features include the ability add comments, reply to existing comments and view tables in Google documents. Android Drive app users are also obtaining the same functionality as iOS users to view presentations and organize content.

Google says upcoming new features for the Drive app include native editing and real-time collaboration for Google spreadsheets, although the company did not issue a specific timetable.

Android Users May Be Getting Preferential Treatment

PC Magazine speculates that Google is intentionally giving users of its proprietary Android mobile OS more Drive features than users of the rival Apple iOS. “For all of the additions to the iOS app, Google managed to keep users of devices running its own Android mobile operating system ahead of the curve,” stated a PC Magazine article. The article noted that Android users can now add comments, reply to existing comments, and view tables in Google documents, in addition to obtaining the same presentation features that iOS users can now employ.

Google Refines Business Suite

As CMSWire pointed out in an August article on Google improving Google Drive’s spreadsheet management capabilities, Google has built up its former Google Docs service (which was changed to Google Drive in April 2012) into “a real competitor for Office.” Even though the article concedes the upcoming Office 2013 will probably be a bigger seller, “Google has continued its steady release of small upgrades to its business suite apps that has made it increasingly popular across businesses of all sizes.”

Considering how prevalent mobile computing is becoming in both the consumer and business markets, upgrading Google Drive’s mobile capabilities is another step toward making Drive a top contender.