This has been a busy spring with Google shuttering some services while updating others. One service that has been updated is Google Drive, which combines Google’s online office programs and storage options. The look and functionality have both seen welcome upgrades that can be found in the Android app and Drive for PC. Drive for iPhone and iPad will see the updates soon.
Google Drive has new viewing options. You’re saved files can be viewed either as in a typical list or as the Google Drive Blog describes it as card-style. Your files show up in miniature as documents, pictures, power points, spreadsheets or pdfs. You can preview a larger version of your files and swipe back and forth between them. It makes finding the file you want easier especially on a smartphone where you have to enlarge a list to be able to choose the right file. Now you can use the card-style and find your file more quickly.
You can also download copies of your files to your mobile device. When you touch and hold on a file a menu pops up that lets you Send, Move to…, Make available offline, Open with, Send link, Download a copy, Rename, Print (using Google Cloud Print) and Remove (the equivalent of delete). You can make your choice without having to actually open the file so you can move, download or print documents faster. There are also new editing options for Google Spreadsheet. You can now change “font types, spreadsheet sizes, [and] cell text colors.”
One of the new features PhysOrg was impressed with was the ability to scan items. You can use the new scan feature to capture documents or pictures directly in Google Drive. The items are saved in PDF form. Documents saved as PDFs can also be converted to text using the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) feature. OCR will also allow you to do a simple search to retrieve a document. You can crop what you scan so you only get the part of the picture or document that you need.
The look and feel of Google Drive makes using the app easier and more functional. Being able to use Google Cloud Print means that you can print to any Cloud Print ready printer using Wi-Fi from your mobile device. The new viewing options make finding your files quicker and scanning helps you keep track of receipts and can be used for scanning last minute documents.
Overall, it’s a great update.