Google Sheets Update Brings Formatting Improvements and Mouse Support to Android

Big changes are coming in the latest update to Google Sheets for Android, web and iOS.  There are some nice formatting options that are coming to the app but probably the bigger news is that the Android app will have mouse support for the new breed of Chromebooks that run Android apps.

From a formatting perspective, Sheets will now have the ability to rotate text (this is found under Format>Text rotation) to make your spreadsheet cleaner and more visually appealing.  For example, you could rotate column headers 90-degrees so that they are vertical instead of wide across the column top.  This means you can make those columns more narrow.  Add to that, finally, the ability to format numbers in Accounting style.  This is one of those “why wasn’t it there before?” features but hey, it’s here now.  Under Format>Number>Accounting, you can change your numbers into this format for easier and more consistent reports on budgets and other financial spreadsheets.

 

 

Rounding out the formatting updates are new border styles.  There are several new border styles in the app that have various thicknesses and double borders.  These are all found under Toolbar>Borders>Border styles.

The big changes though and probably the more exciting ones for most are the changes to the Android (and iOS app) app for Sheets.

In Android, support has been added for a mouse.  This is a big deal for the current generation of Chromebooks that run Android apps but probably even more important for those who have the

Google Sheets for Android
Google Sheets for Android

ability to run them but have a Chromebook that doesn’t have a touchscreen.  This update will give users the ability to manipulate the app just like they could by touching it – just with a mouse.  I suspect we will start seeing more updates like this as Android apps on Chrome OS become more of the norm but it is great to see Google take the initiative.

Other updates to the Android app include the ability to view and select existing custom colors and the ability to drag and drop rows or columns in the app (which is also available in iOS).  For you iPhone users of Google Sheets, formatting suggestions are now show to you in the Explore feature of the app.

The updates to the mobile apps for Android and iOS have been released so you should see that OTA update over the course of the next few days.  For the web, border styles should be available over the course of the next few days as well but it won’t be until March 6th that rotated text and accounting number formats for the web are available.