September 24, 2020

Google Docs on mobile uses AI to suggest what to write

Google Docs just became much more useful if you're on the move and don't have much time to type.

google docs drive android app icons on a Google Pixel 2 XL

  • Google is upgrading G Suite on Android and iOS with major time-saving features.
  • Smart Compose uses AI to suggest words and even phrases while you type.
  • Link previews show the site you’ll visit without forcing you to leave the app.

Google Docs just became much more useful if you’re on the move and don’t have much time to type — or visit web links, for that matter.

Google is updating its Android and iOS apps with two major new features highlighted by Smart Compose. Much like in Gmail, Docs will use AI to suggest the next words in a sentence based on the context. You just have to swipe right to accept them when they appear. As you might imagine, this could be vital if you’re updating a report on your phone and want to finish quickly with a minimum of typos.

Link previews, meanwhile, give you a quick peek at external content without having to switch apps or otherwise create a distraction from your document. Website links will frequently include the title, description and a thumbnail, while linked Google Drive files will show the owner and latest activity. You’ll know if a linked spreadsheet is worth reviewing.

See also: The best productivity apps for Android

Smart Compose is rolling out now to iOS, and should start reaching Android users on August 12. Link previews are available now on iOS and the web, and should also start reaching Android on August 12. It may take up to 15 days to reach your device, so don’t worry if it isn’t available right away.

These additions come on top of a flurry of recent G Suite mobile upgrades, including Android-specific updates like dark theme support and easier editing for Microsoft Office files. You may not have as much need to edit work on your phone during the pandemic, when you’re less likely to have a commute, but these refinements should help you keep any mobile editing time to a minimum.