January 24, 2013

Google Slides Now Work Offline

Google Slides now work offline, a good upgrade for those who want to use the presentation application but don’t want to rely on an Internet connection in order to present it to colleagues or continue editing the file.

Google announced today Slides, which is Google’s answer to PowerPoint, can now be backed up automatically to one’s hard drive if using the Chrome browser or Chrome OS.

Doing so requires setting up offline access for your files in Google Drive. This almost instantly backs up the files to the computer hard drive, enabling you to edit them when not connected to the Internet. The files then resync when back online.

I have used this functionality with Google Docs and it has served me very well. This feature’s absence was something that kept me from doing significant amounts of productivity with Google Docs, given that WiFi is annoyingly still not always easy to find when travelling. Now I do all of my document creation in Google Drive and am able to keep working even if I lose a connection.

Google Sheets is probably the most “behind” its competitors PowerPoint and Keynote in terms of features. Docs (word processing) and Sheets (spreadsheets) have far more parity and make suitable replacements. However, the synchronous collaboration features available make it a powerful tool for businesses who may assign teams to create a presentation. Google would be wise to continue to build up its features given how it continues to make a push into enterprise.

Another recent improvement to Google Slides adds full-screen as the default view for presentation mode. Previously this setting needed to be enabled manually, which was rather annoying given that 99.99 percent of all presentations are done full screen.

The same kind of offline support is in the works for spreadsheets, which is a further sign of Google’s commitment to build a robust editing suite.

Image Credit: Google Drive Blog

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