About a year after announcing an AdWords app for Android, Google just released an iOS version for iPhone and iPad. However, if you want to create an ad using an app, you need the separate AdWords Express app for Android or iOS, which isn't new and doesn't work with AdWords accounts.
Confused yet? If so, you're not alone
How AdWords for iOS works
Google's AdWords app is designed to make it easy to monitor existing AdWords campaign stats, and update bids and budgets. You can also opt to receive real-time alerts and notifications, which are particularly helpful if you bid on highly competitive keywords. The app effectively presents all of this information on mobile device displays so it's easy to digest.
That's about it for the AdWords app. You can't use the software to create new AdWords accounts, for instance, or create new ads or ad groups. And if you want to take advantage of one of AdWords' best tools, the Keyword Planner, you can't use the app to do so. I use this tool constantly to research keyword volumes for blog posts, articles and other Web content, and it's unfortunate the app doesn't support it.
However, if you're a digital marketer or business that runs one or more AdWords campaigns, the app is still great for tracking those campaigns while you're on the go.
AdWords vs. AdWords Express
Google also offers a separate AdWords Express app for organizations that use its more streamlined digital ad service. AdWords Express is designed for use by small or local businesses that lack the time or experience necessary for effective digital advertising.
With AdWords Express, Google takes over much of the control, and customers get a more simplified app. They do not get the same analytics, ability to select their own keywords, and other benefits of AdWords. (For more details on AdWords Express versus AdWords, check out Google's AdWords Express FAQ page.)
Hopefully the AdWords app eventually acquires additional features that put the service on par with its desktop version. It would also be nice to see Google simultaneously release future updates for both Android and iOS.