Google Sheets is a spreadsheet program included as part of the free, web-based Google Docs Editors suite offered by Google. The service also includes Google Docs, Google Slides, Google Drawings, Google Forms, Google Sites, and Google Keep. Google Sheets is available as a web application, mobile app for Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry, and as a desktop application on Google’s Chrome OS. The app is compatible with Microsoft Excel file formats.
The app allows users to create and edit files online while collaborating with other users in real-time. Edits are tracked by user with a revision history presenting changes. An editor’s position is highlighted with an editor-specific color and cursor and a permissions system regulates what users can do. Updates have introduced features using machine learning, including “Explore”, offering answers based on natural language questions in a spreadsheet.
Google Sheets originated from XL2Web, a web-based spreadsheet application developed by 2Web Technologies, which was acquired by Google in 2006 and turned into Google Labs Spreadsheets. It was launched as a test for a limited number of users, on a first-come, first-served basis on June 6, 2006. The limited test was later replaced with a beta version available to all Google Account holders, around the same time as an official announcement press release was issued. In March 2010, Google acquired the online document collaboration company DocVerse.
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