Google Drive just got a nice big update out of nowhere, which, first and foremost, brings it up to speed with the card UI – a feature that works really well on an app like Drive. Past that, there's a new "scan" option, which uses your device's camera to grab snapshots of things like receipts, and coverts them to searchable PDFs using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology. The future is a fantastic place.


Spreadsheet editing also got a little less crappy and a little more feature-rich, as you can now adjust font types and sizes, as well as cell text colors and alignment. We're now one step closer to full, useful spreadsheet creation and manipulation directly from a mobile device. Killer.

Otherwise, expect a few other small-but-welcome changes, like local saving of files, quick photo previews, and the expected "bug fixes and visual improvements.


What's in this version:

- New grid view makes it easier to find your files
- New quick preview lets you view photos and other files from within the app
- Scan documents, receipts and letters for safe keeping in Drive; then search by contents once uploaded
- Download a copy of files to your local device (Honeycomb+)
- Spreadsheet editor now supports changing fonts, colors and cell alignment
- View properties of files from within the editors
- Bug fixes and visual improvements

The update is live in the Play Store now, so hit the widget to grab it.

[Google Drive Blog]

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://twitter.com/IamPeePay Tomáš Petrík

    Download a copy - yay!

    • http://twitter.com/AirRonan1 AirRonan

      what Rhonda implied I'm stunned that any body able to make $4392 in one month on the network.

      • MasterMuffin

        I'm stunned too about how some believe that people will actually click those links!

    • http://twitter.com/AirRonan1 AirRonan

      ...---goo.gl/3BaUy (Home more information)

  • http://profiles.google.com/cory.simpson Cory Simpson

    a "bit" update :P

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii


  • GreatNews

    any Teardown for this Apk will be available?

  • Merri Mogridge

    I hope a Linux desktop support is added soon, the lack of it is the only reason I haven't switched from Dropbox to Drive yet.

    • Rob

      Not sure if this helps, but check out INSYNCHQ (https://www.insynchq.com/downloads/linux). They're in beta testing for their Linux product and it's free during beta-testing. ;-)

      • Merri Mogridge

        Thanks for the heads up. :) It certainly looks very interesting! I think I'll stick with Dropbox for now though (Until they release Drive) as that'll be free for the foreseeable future.

  • Metallinatus

    Another Google app to get the great new UI, Google is waiting no time to get all their apps this UI overhaul :)

    • mfr118

      Chrome and Earth also got a couple of updates too today

      • steve

        Play Magazines just got refreshed to 2.0 with the new cards UI too. el Goog is following their guidelines very well!

  • ej_knight

    Lets hope Gmail and Maps are next.

    • steve

      Here's hoping for some Calendar love. It's been since December since an update there...

      • JG

        I'm sorry.... What month? I can't find this December you speak of on my phone's Android 4.2 calendar....

        • sbm

          they fixed that like 3 months ago just saying

          • Simon Belmont

            That was the joke. It was funny.

            I lol'd. Now, I'm sad at your comment.

          • JG

            This is Android we're talking about... It'll be another year at least until [insert OEM here] and [insert carrier here] finally get around to pushing the update to my device, assuming it ever actually gets the update (after all I'm still rocking 2.3.4 on my actual phone)...

      • http://twitter.com/RyanDack Ryan Dack

        I suspect this will be updated when 4.3 is announced, as it originally was tied to the OS.

  • Guest

    Bummer, there's still no option in the app to make a file public.

  • RitishOemraw

    Luvin it!
    The new ui.....but more importantly...the guidelines following sidepanel/menu being swipeable....



  • NexusKoolaid

    I welcome the new OCR feature, but what I'm really wanting to see is handwriting recognition.

  • heat361

    Now I'm waiting for a gmail and maps update. It would be nice to also have a google plus app update with the new up button too.

    • RitishOemraw

      don't forget the complete messenger/hangouts merger

  • http://profiles.google.com/jameshkd James Huang

    Anyone tried out the OCR? When i try to scan, all it gives me is a blank white page

    • Lexster

      It doesn't work for me either, but all that happens is the image freezes like the picture is taken, but nothing happens. I'm on a Evo LTE. I'm wondering if since Sense uses a different camera software, that it might not be taking over for whatever Drive is using to try and capture the picture, which means the image isn't proceeding to the "save" phase of the process.

  • Greek_Ice

    Yes! More of Google's proprietary design guidelines. If more apps trickle out with these updates, the wait till 4.3 will be filled with less angst.

  • Andrew

    They are using the new DrawerLayout. Developers, to use this, you must update the sdk to version 22 and update the support library as that is where DrawerLayout is located. I will be posting a youtube video later today on how to use this.

  • squiddy20

    You couldn't download any of the files on Drive to your device before now? WTH? ...Or am I misunderstanding something?

    • Michael Lee

      Before, you could only "save offline" for files. It was almost useless for me, since I upload lots of backups in the form of .zip files. So glad they changed this!

  • jb

    not able to use the scan feature on cm 10.1 nightly, takes a pic of image and then the screen coverts it to a blue image and uploads it :(

    • Daniel

      CM 10.1 Nightlies have that bug. I'm also experiencing it on the Google Goggles app on my GT-I9100 with CM 10.1 nightly... we'll have to live with that until it's fixed :/

  • RSerda

    LOVE IT MAN!!!
    I'm just happy we got THUMBNAILS for the pics!!!!!! WOO-HOO!... that was the only reason i went to DropBox!

  • http://www.maverickcreative.ca/ Joshua Richards

    Absolutely LOVING what Google has been doing over the last few weeks. Great stuff!

  • NoReply

    And you can still not preview pictures....how can it be so hard?

    • Noreply

      i found out that you actually can, it just takes some time for the thumbnails to appear

  • c00ller

    Anyone who's used the CamScanner app will know exactly where the scan feature UI came from ;)

  • TidBit

    Scanning works, but the PDFs aren't being OCR'ed

    • Pdiddy187

      This. I've tried with several simple documents.

    • Scott

      I've been looking for the option to OCR a document, can't find it and I don't know if it's supposed to be automatic or not.

  • mauric

    Nice job google... Adding new guidelines to immediately break them yourself the week after.

    Yes the new navigation drawer is here, but what's up with the gingerbread-looking dividers?
    Why is there a holo dark slider in the holo light interface?!
    Why is the action bar title bold?
    Why are there 2 different sub-titles used of which none is mentioned in the guidelines?
    Since when are there dividers used in the action bar (editing documents)?
    Oh and padding and margins are a bit off in some places.

    I really like looks of the app and it's good to see that they are trying everything, but shouldn't they be giving the example of making apps that fit the guidelines to stop confusion?

  • Andrew

    Anyone pull the apk and post a download link and for google+ to don't have an updated copy.

  • Guest

    I keep getting an error when trying to create a new document.

  • NateCress

    I love the new layout, but boy are there some bugs with this one. The new scan tech is awesome, but it will crash after a few pages. That's not a big deal if you only need to scan a receipt or two, but for scanning a document with multiple pages it's a problem. Also, the app seemed to have a really hard time creating new documents on the Samsung Galaxy S4 one of my friends had. Has anyone else experienced any bugs with this release?

  • fzammetti

    Calling this OCR, while *technically* accurate, is *somewhat* misleading. Typically, when you say you OCR'd a document, you mean that you created an editable document from it. While it's true that a PDF is nominally editable, it's not *generally* considered an editable format. And yes, while Google is clearly OCR'ing scanned docs to make them searchable, they aren't giving you a *truly* editable format, like a text file or Word doc or something. So, while I'm not going to lose sleep over it being called OCR, it's not *quite* what most people mean by OCR (I also wouldn't be surprised if they gave you a choice of output format at some later point... kind of a natural evolution down the road).

    • Craig Muldoon

      Although you are most likely technically correct, I have always assumed (like many) that OCR'ing something will create a searchable PDF doc. Guess it depends on your relationship to this technology.

    • Matthew Fry

      Technically, OCR is an algorithm to identify text out of an image. It has nothing to do with the end product be it a searchable pdf or an editable document.

    • Peter Steier

      Additionally, if you download the scanned pdf, google strips the OCRed information, and it is no longer searchable - completely useless for me.
      I won't go into a cloud which tries to lock me in.

  • mechapathy

    Why is it always 4:20 in Mountain View?

    • MeCampbell30

      You know why.

    • Matthew Fry

      That is hilarious. Nice find :)

  • blueseeker

    The scan feature is pretty bad. It doesn't even touch the basics of CamScanner.