Our long national Google Docs and Sheets Split View nightmare is over

This might deserve a "finally": Google Docs and Sheets now support Split View, a mere 10 months and 30 days after the iOS 9 feature appeared for iPad users.

I wrote about Google's second-class app citizenry back in January of 2016, citing the lack of Google updates as one of the big issues holding me back from committing to the iPad Pro to write full-time; while the company has made strides forward in improving its iOS apps, it was still missing a key component of true iPad multitasking: Split View.

That nightmare is now over, though officially only for users of iOS 9 — both apps' developer notes include the phrase "support on iPads running iOS 9", but I've been able to get devices both on the latest public beta and developer beta seed working with Split Screen. (After, it should be noted, a full iPad restart.)

There's still a lot I'd like to see from these apps — there's still no way to highlight multiple cells with keyboard commands, for example — but Split View is a huge step forward for the apps, and a step much appreciated by iPad users around the globe.

Serenity was formerly the Managing Editor at iMore, and now works for Apple. She's been talking, writing about, and tinkering with Apple products since she was old enough to double-click. In her spare time, she sketches, sings, and in her secret superhero life, plays roller derby. Follow her on Twitter @settern.

  • As much as I like Google Docs over MS Office, they've really dropped the ball on iPad support and let Microsoft eat their lunch. Disappointing. It's not just split view, they were also very slow to roll out 3D touch functionality for most of their apps as well. They have it now, but only months after MS did.
  • Even stranger, Google has yet to add keyboard shortcuts. What could they be thinking?
  • They could be thinking Android tablet sales aren't very high, let's keep the special features for Android so it looks better
  • Doubtful. Google makes more money on iOS than Android.
  • The [very vast] majority of the money they make from iOS comes from Ads, not Google Drive, so that's not doubtful at all.
  • Do the apps even have keyboard shortcuts on Android?
  • I believe so, a lot of Android phones in the early days had keyboards so keyboard support is baked into the OS
  • Ah, fair enough.
  • Ive never given docs and sheets a go vs. Excel and Word. The apps were never up to speed and back then didn't let you create .doc which is a standard format in business to email out. They're just too far behind at this point and there are free online versions of Word and Excel; even Dropbox and Onedrive links right to them.
  • The things you describe are not what most people use Google Docs for. The shared documents feature is the primary reason to use Google Docs, and Office isn't even in the ballpark when it comes to simultaneous editing. I use both and they are tools for different purposes.
  • I don't know when "back then" was, but I used the apps about 5 years ago and it exported to .doc, it was quite important considering most people used Office
  • Office on Windows (confirmation needed for Mac) also supports OpenDocument formats (LibreOffice, OpenOffice), so that can be used even with Office users, as the support is baked into the software. Even WordPad on Windows 10 supports this format for documents. Google Docs supports ODF as well. I have basically moved to using LibreOffice since I no longer have a Microsoft Account, which Office literally requires these days, and have had absolutely no complaints form people whom I have shared *.ODT files with ;-) Nor have I had any issues opening Office Documents and having them display properly.
  • Still no update to Google's Inbox app for split view... :`-(
  • Finally! Sent from the iMore App
  • National nightmare? I thought the internet had no borders?
  • Never let it be said that iMore will reject a clever turn of phrase simply because it conflicts with facts.
  • They're titles designed to attract users, that means they don't always have to make sense, so long as it sparks someone's interest
  • Exactly! We're all part of one Internet nation. ;)