Google Docs offline editing added today

Google has added offline editing to Google Docs, allowing users to open and edit their text, spreadsheet and other documents even when they don't have an internet connection. Announced today at the second Google IO keynote, the new offline Google Docs system uses local caching to save the latest copy of any documents changed, automatically synchronizing whenever a connection is restored.

Offline functionality has been something of a theme at IO this week. Google Maps has been updated to support selective offline use, allowing Android device owners to select a portion of the map to locally cache. Meanwhile, Jelly Bean supports offline voice typing for Android phones and tablets.

The connection-free editing should also improve the user-experience of Chromebooks, which so far have only been fully functional when they're online. Google added the ability to locally cache documents for reading on Chromebooks several months ago, but not editing.

Offline Google Docs will be available today, the search company says. You can sign up for a free account here, as part of Google Drive.