Why doesn't Google Docs work on iPad?

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iPad? Check. Bluetooth keyboard? Check. Word processing app that creates Microsoft-Word-compatible documents? Er, I don't know. Let me check.

The iPad is a marvel of industrial engineering. The battery life and screen are amazing. I love the Apple Bluetooth keyboard, which is even better than the keyboard on my 18-inch Sony VAIO laptop and way better than the one that came with my Dell desktop PC.

The iPad lets me leave my office and do some writing at the kitchen table, sitting on the couch or down at the local coffee joint. The long battery life means I can even work there all day if I want, without having to jockey for position with all the other outlet vultures. Nice. But why didn't Google want to be involved?

Google announced yesterday an "enhanced" version of Google Docs that does all kinds of fancy document sharing and co-editing. The company also announced that it had re-vamped its Mobile Mobile "app" to be more iPad friendly.

Um, OK. So in all this re-vamping, Google forgot to "enhance" Google Docs to do the one and only thing I want it to do: enable me to create and edit documents from the iPad.

I'm not even sure why it doesn't simply work. It's not like Docs was written in Adobe Flash or anything. Have they gone out of their way to hobble it, and prevent it from being used on the iPad? I've asked Google, and will let you know what they tell me.

It seems to me that Google is losing customers with each passing minute they fail to support Docs on the iPad.

Microsoft itself is thus far completely AWOL on the iPad. I'd be willing to pay $50 for an iPad version of Office, or even $20 for an iPad version of Microsoft Word. But no. Nothing from Redmond. Microsoft doesn't want my business.

Since both Google and Microsoft have failed me, I had to go drop $9.99 for Apple's Pages application, which I really didn't want to do. And you know what? It's pretty nice. I'll probably get used to it, and keep using it. Had Google been ready with Docs, they could have converted me to a Docs user. Instead, they converted me to an Apple user.

Woody Allen once said: "Eighty percent of success is showing up."

And that's certainly true of Google Docs. All they had to do in order to own the cloud-based word-processing market on the iPad is fricken show up.

Why didn't they?

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