Collaborating across businesses is set to get a lot smoother after Google Workspace announced a signficiant upgrade to its partnership with Microsoft Office.
Google has revealed that users of its collaboration suite can now directly edit Microsoft Office files directly on iOS with no need to convert file types.
This means that users of Workspace tools such as Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides are now able to edit, comment and collaborate on Office files on MacBooks, iPads and iPhone devices.
In its blogpost, Google says that by bringing Office editing on iOS, users are able to use the collaborative and assistive features of Google Workspace on Microsoft Office files while on an iOS device.
Now iPhone and iPad users would be able to edit, comment and collaborate on MS Office files using Google Docs, Sheets and Slides. In addition, it would allow users to enhance sharing options and controls while reducing the need to download and email file attachments.
The Office file types supported by the new feature on Google Workplace on iOS include .doc, .docx, .dot, .xls, .xlsx, .xlt, .xlsm, and .ppt, .pptx, .pps, .pot files.
Here is how you can open, add, edit and convert MS Office files on Google Workspace while using it on iOS:
Open an Office file in Google Docs, Sheets or Slides by tapping the MS Office file within the Google Productivity app
To open and edit a file, simply click Open a file on your iOS device. Thereafter, double tap the word you want to edit or directly click on Edit link on Google Docs. You could use the blue markers to select the text to be edited.
Adding an Office file to Google Drive can be doing by opening the Google Drive app, clicking on the plus sign and click on Upload. Find the file to be uploaded and tap on it.
You can convert Office files to Google files by opening the app and clicking on the options menu next to the file that requires to be converted. Click on Save as and then choose Google Docs/ Google Sheets or Google Slides.
The new Office editing capability is hoped to replace QuickOffice, which had a more limited functionality and collaboration capabilities.
The feature was made available on the web last year and to Android devices two months ago, and now is available to those using Workspace Essentials, the various Business and Enterprise categories of users and those with the basic G-Suite.
Users need to make sure that they have updated their Google Drive version to be able to use these new features.
However, not everyone has found these changes to Google Workspace to be to their taste. Google says it has improved interoperability of its various productivity services, blurring the lines between each product for a more fluid feel – although some users have objected to these changes.