Google adds offline presentation, editing to 'Slides' software

The company continues to bring its Internet apps to the desktop

By Jay Alabaster, IDG News Service |  On-demand Software

Google has added offline presentations and editing to its Slides application, as it continues to bring its Internet apps to the desktop.

The company announced in a Google Drive blog post that its presentation software now allows users to create and modify slide shows, or present them, without an active Internet connection. Changes are uploaded the next time users connect to the Internet.

The functionality requires the use of Google's Chrome browser or Chrome operating system. It must be turned on online through a user's Google Drive account.

The blog post said that Google is now working on an offline version of its spreadsheet program, Sheets.

The expansion to Slides comes about six months after Google added similar functionality to its Docs word processing software. Its Gmail and calendar applications can also be accessed offline.

While Google is increasingly competing with Microsoft in office applications, the search giant has made clear that its offline offerings are for temporary situations, like flights or stints on the go without a wireless connection.

Microsoft offers an online version of its Office application suite for individual users, Office Web Apps, but it is less comprehensive than Google's version. Microsoft's offering for business users, Office 365, is billed more as an extension of its desktop-based Office software.

In December, Google ended the free version of its Google Apps for business users, after gradually scaling down the size of businesses that could use the service for free. It also launched a free iPad app to allow its paying customers to edit Microsoft Office documents.

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