Each of the new apps come with offline support built in, so you can create and manage your files without an Internet connection. “Now, if you have a brilliant idea for a best-selling novel while traipsing through the Amazonian rainforest (or you know, something more probable, like during flight takeoff)…no problem. You can jot down your idea in the Docs app on your phone, even when you’re offline,” Google wrote in a blog post.
Previously, the only way to access Google’s productivity services on mobile was to use the Google Drive app, which will still function going forward. While these apps don’t bring a ton of new functionality to the table, they do embrace a growing trend of unbundling functionality from more centralized apps, releasing multiple pieces of software designed for specific tasks instead. Facebook has done this with its apps, for instance, and that seems to be part of their long-term strategy at this point.
You can get the apps on Google Play (Docs | Sheets) and in the App Store (Docs | Sheets). If you don’t get them now, you’ll be prompted to do so next time you go to edit or create a document or spreadsheet in the Google Drive app.