If you haven't heard, the new version of Google Docs is now available for opt-in. I recommend it, as it has substantial improvements built in. For me, one of the biggest tweaks is that you can now use Analytics to track hits on your Google Docs. That's important for my situation, as it lets me know how many people are accessing and downloading my Complete Characters and other freebies. Collaboration tools similar to those in Wave also make an appearance, which is great for journeyman writers such as myself.
But as for the supposedly improved applications, do they suck? Check below the fold to find out.
I use Google Docs all the time and am a big advocate of cloud computing. Google's universal access to my files allows me to pull up my latest project from my desktop, netbook, or even work computer without having to continually update files and move them from one machine to another. I'm slowly moving my whole operation to Google's cloud until I hope to one day be able to do without a traditional word processor, spreadsheet program, and even vector graphics program on my hard drive.
One thing that Docs isn't ready to do, however, is desktop publishing. I've spend the last little while trying to put together a Complete Character PDF using the new version of the Documents application. It really just lacks the control that I need to make the publication look how I want.
That's not a dig on the software, and honestly I doubt Google will ever make desktop publishing a goal for this application. Documents benefits from having only a few fonts, basic layout tools, and a somewhat rigid page structure. So, for now I'll continue to use my native applications when I actually need to lay something out, but it will all be up in the cloud for the actual creation process.