Google Docs for Android gets extensions

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Google Docs for Android gets extensions

Google Docs and Sheets just got a whole a whole lot more powerful on Android devices. Here’s how you can take advantage of the new features.

Google has enabled add-ons to its Sheets and Docs apps for Android, with the tech giant adding a new section to the Google Play app store and publishing a guide to how developers can take advantage of the change.

Among the add-ons is a tool called ScanBot that allows business owners to scan documents using their smartphone camera, and then import the text into a document using optical character recognition (OCR).

Also among the launch apps is a tool that allows business owners to create apps using data from a Google Sheets spreadsheet, and an extension that allows a DocuSign digital signature to be obtained from within a Google Docs document.

Google has created a dedicated section of its Google Play app store to the add-ons, allowing small business owners to download and install the extensions as they would with any other Android app.

“Whether it’s readying a contract you have for e-signature from your phone, or pulling in CRM data on your tablet for some quick analysis while waiting for your morning coffee, Android add-ons can help you accomplish more,” Google Apps product manager Saurabh Gupta said.

Developing your own add-ons

The tech giant has also a published a guide for how startups and other businesses with Android apps can create their own Google Docs plug-ins.

These include instructions on how to convert an existing standalone Android app to an add-on, as well as a number of demonstration scripts and even the full source code for a translation add-on.

There is also a set of guidelines outlining Google’s user experience expectations for third party add-ons to be included in Google Play, covering menus, user interfaces, branding and accessibility.

Meanwhile, Google’s major rival in the productivity tools market, Microsoft, has this week launched a range of additional features for its Office 365 package.

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