I use Google Docs more than Office or iWork, so accessing and editing my files across platforms is very important to me. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a decent candidate for editing your documents on mobile platforms. Google unvieled their mobile editor to much hype, but unfortunately it doesn’t provide an extensive, desktop-like experience on any platform.
This review won’t solve that problem. However, Memeo Connect is one of the more elegant solutions to browsing your Google Docs. Plus, for those that don’t require editing on the Google service, the files can be imported into Pages for iOS. Memeo provides a pleasing and fairly stable platform for accessing Google Docs on the go.
Sync, Sync, Sync
Memeo Connect, if you haven’t guessed already, is a Google Docs client aimed at viewing your documents, presentations and spreadsheets on your iPhone or iPad. In addition to the standard Google Docs format, you can also sync the PDFs and Office documents you’ve uploaded to Google’s cloud-based service. Memeo Connect even syncs your folders, starred, hidden, shared and trashed files in addition to providing an all items view.
Choosing one of the synced folders opens a beautiful document view that lists your various documents. There’s a scroll bar at the side to navigate by month, and you can just tap on a document to launch it. The launched document view looks very similar to a full-screen Pages document or like viewing a PDF from Mail.
You can scroll through your file at this point. Unfortunately, this is the navigation mechanism for every file type, including presentations. There’s no integrated presentation viewer although the ability to import them into Apple’s $10 Keynote app sort of makes up for it. When I opened my presentation in Keynote (this was actually a PowerPoint document on Google Docs), it launched in a slide-by-slide basis and worked seamlessly. The same, smooth experience goes for opening a Google Docs file in Pages (another $10 app from Apple).
The interface Memeo has is very nice and, on iPad, is one of those “custom UI” apps that you just have to admire. They haven’t opted for the default UI set, and instead made the app unique by integrating a desk-like feel.
In the settings, you can also choose what to sync by creating criteria such as “starred” (a useful feature for myself) and setting a file size limit to avoid extensive data usage or taking up too much storage.
PDF, Docs and Office
Memeo Connect supports the three tentpole file formats on Google Docs: Google’s standard format for documents created in the service (or converted), Microsoft Office file formats (Word, PowerPoint and Excel) and also PDFs that have been uploaded.
If you decide to move these files into Pages, Keynote or Numbers, they will act just like an import via iTunes or similar service with the Office documents seeing no difference to ones transferred in iTunes.
Memeo ships with several different themes and the ability to create your own from your photos synced from the Photos app. Some included themes are stone, leaf, mosaic, sand and wood.
Memeo comes in two different flavors as a universal binary for both iPhone and iPad. They both work great but the interface on iPad is far superior.
Memeo’s developers promise big things for the app in upcoming updates. We mentioned before about the lack of a real editor for Google Docs on iOS, however, an upcoming update should see the ability to edit documents both offline and online.
A popup on startup informs us that Memeo Connect Editor (possibly a free update, or a free or paid app) you’ll be able to create new documents, edit existing ones both offline and online and share both with collaborators and by email.
The promise is a big one and if Memeo can implement this well enough at a free or affordable price point it will be a very worthy buy. They’ve already demonstrated the capabilities of viewing documents with this app so it all looks very exciting.
If you’re looking for an elegant way to browse your Google Docs when you’re out and about, Memeo works pretty well. We’ve looked extensively at the iPhone app, but the iPad app is also provided in a single, universal binary.
This native app provides a much nicer, smoother and streamlined approach when compared to Google Docs over the web. The ability to import files into Pages for iOS is also a nice touch and you can also print via AirPrint directly from inside the app.
I have noticed some sparse stability issues with the app crashing from time to time if I return after viewing a document. It’s not too much of a pain as you can simply relaunch the app with minimum hassle.
This is one of the best examples of Google Docs integration on the iPad and I can’t wait to see the fabled Editor expected soon on iPad. Rest assured we’ll have a review for that!