Google says an update is rolling out for Docs, Sheets, and Slides that automatically syncs recently-opened files to your device so you can open them even when you have a poor or no connection. If some files go awhile without updates, or your storage gets low, they’ll be removed from your local storage.
You’ve long since had the ability to manually save files offline, by heading to the Offline section from the overflow menu. And you still can.
By default, your most recent work will be saved when you open it, which means less time spent picking the files you want to be available offline. If you’re low on storage, or would rather manage this yourself, you can turn it off.
The impact on you: While Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have always emphasized online work and collaboration, there is still plenty of open space out there without a solid Internet connection. This update ensures that you won’t get stuck somewhere without a file you really need.
This could also prove effective when the Play Store begins to roll out to Chromebooks. Those who haven’t synced specific Drive files offline will have a reliable backup of their most recent work. Same goes for those on an iPad Pro, who can keep plugging away without the Internet.