I’ve been testing the iPad Pro for medical uses in the hospital and for clinical workflows this past week. When I initially started using the iPad Pro I was skeptical — mainly based on the massive size of the device. But over the past week I’ve been impressed by how iOS works on iPad Pro and how there are several potential uses in the clinical workflow — I’ll get into how Epic‘s EHR works on the iPad Pro in subsequent articles.

But my main disappointment so far has been in the lack of Google docs functionality for iPad Pro. I’m a huge fan of Google Docs for medical literature writing — something I’ve written about before. I love how you can use Google Scholar to track your publication history and citations as well.

So when I started testing the iPad Pro for writing medical literature articles I was disappointed in the lack of the following features:

No ability to insert links: If you have a hyperlink you want to insert, such as for a bibliography, you can’t do that in the Google Docs app.

No ability to use the “add-ons” or Tools functionality: This is one of my favorite features of Google Docs when writing medical literature — it makes citing literature extremely easy. I explain how this works on the desktop version in the following video:

No ability to see revision history: This is particularly useful when your research article has undergone a few rounds of revisions or if someone has accidentally taken out a paragraph or a line you wanted to actually keep.

Lack of comments view: Technically, you can insert comments in the Google Docs app version, but you can’t easily view them. I tend to use comments a lot when collaborating with a group. Not having the ability to easily seeing all the comments at once when you open your article makes this functionality useless.

Lack of “Suggestions” mode: In Google Docs you can change the mode to “Suggesting”. This is useful when someone is reviewing your article and you don’t want to use the revision history feature. You can choose to approve their suggestions or decline them.

Obviously, many medical professionals still use Microsoft Word for collaborating when writing medical literature.  I’ve read that Microsoft’s Word app is great on the iPad Pro, but I’ll be testing this out later to see if it has the key features required for collaborating on research articles.

Next week I’ll get into the following features of iPad Pro for medical uses: Epic Electronic Health Record capability.

google docs ipad pro article

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