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Google takes Docs on the road

Look, but don't touch, on a mobile phone

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Google has slipped its Web 2.0 Docs application onto its mobile portal, allowing users to view documents, spreadsheets and presentations on their mobile phone browser.

For the moment the service is read-only, but Google promises editing capability will come real soon now y'hear.

While the applications-as-a-service model might work on desktop computers, with their always-on connectivity, it's harder to understand how such a model can be useful on a mobile phone without something like Google Gears to make the applications work when you are disconnected.

Of course, users of Apple's iPhone who are reluctant to hack their uber-cool handset have no other option, and must be hoping that some sort of persistent storage will come with the SDK announcement due next year.

The rest of us will still do better with QuickOffice or OfficeSuite on a smartphone, or perhaps a printout for those still using more basic handsets. But if you're already using Google Docs then on-the-move access might be worth checking out, and if Google can provide some form of persistence then it could make an interesting application. ®

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