Google is certainly no stranger to frequent updates, with their “release early, iterate often” perspective creating both loyal followers and vocal dissidents. However, those updates are often so frequent that average users miss them entirely. That may be the case for Google Docs users, who recently received three updates, according to the Google Docs blog. If these updates flew under the radar, don’t worry: that’s how it was for most of us.
While your typical “left-justified,” “right-justified,” and “centers” have long been features within Docs, plain old “justified” was a mode hidden within the HTML commands. Now justification has been added to the standard user toolbar.
Don’t want to go back to your main documents menu just to add a star to the file you’re on? A new star icon has been added to the title section of each loaded document.
As the preeminent source for collaborative document creation, it’s not surprising that Google is adding yet another set of advanced features to doc sharing. This time it’s done by adding the list of collaborators on a project in the invitation email, allowing those users to easily start email conversations in a single thread.
There’s no one in the industry claiming these changes are a big move forward, they’re still useful for most standard users. Further, it shows us that Google is still loyal to its patchwork release system and its focus on collaborative tools, favoring items like “threaded sharing” and “instant updates” to the content of the documents over more document creation oriented options. Sadly, there’s no word yet on when those in-demand individual user experience options might be granted to Google Docs, such as customizable shortcuts, the old Google Labs features, and Google Docs Offline.