11
Sep
drive

Google started a staged update to Google Drive earlier today with version 1.2.352.9 and a completely useless changelog that just said "Bug fixes and other improvements."

As it turns out, these fixes and improvements are actually kind of significant compared to the previous version 1.2.228.32. In this post, I will show you what's really new in Drive v1.2.352.9.

Since the rollout is staged, some of you may not see the update in the Play Store yet - in that case, you can find manual APK download links at the bottom of this post.

What's new?

Holo Dark UI is now Holo Light

The new Drive is using Holo Light instead of Holo Dark and looks a lot less gloomy. I dig it.

wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-53-56 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-54-37

Left: new Drive v1.2.352.9; Right: old Drive v1.2.228.32

Bottom Create Bar

There is now what Google calls a Create Bar with the most common actions pulled out into a dedicated, easy-to-reach menu bar. It behaves exactly as it does in Google+. As you scroll down, it goes away, but as soon as you nudge up, it shows up again. Tablet and large-phone users (not large phone-users) will love it (I've always personally advocated for the action bar to be located at the bottom, but Google has its own ideas).

wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-15-33-15 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-55-17

Swipe-down-to-refresh

You can finally swipe down on the file list to refresh it a la Gmail and Google+. Yay!

wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-15-34-11 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-15-34-25

New things in Spreadsheets

The Drive team has quietly added a bunch of super handy things to Spreadsheets. And we noticed!

New Cells button with a ton of cell formatting and border settings

There's a whole new Cells button when you select a cell with a bunch of options inside. You can finally change borders and format numbers and dates.

wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-15-36-07 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-15-36-18 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-15-36-34 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-15-36-43

Merging/splitting of multiple cells

Splitting and merging of multiple cells is now possible. As you can see, there's a new Split/Join Cells button that shows up in the tap-wait-tap cell menu.

wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-35-12 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-35-27

Left: new Drive v1.2.352.9; Right: old Drive v1.2.228.32

wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-35-22 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-35-30 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-36-39

Merging/splitting and freezing/unfreezing columns/rows

Similarly to the above, entire rows and columns can be merged and split.

wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-39-23 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-43-20

Left: new Drive v1.2.352.9; Right: old Drive v1.2.228.32

You can also freeze (and unfreeze) rows and columns, which essentially splits the spreadsheet into chunks that you then independently navigate. So, if you freeze after column C and start scrolling to the right, columns A, B, and C will stick around on the left side. I love this feature and I'm really glad it finally came to Android.

wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-39-56 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-40-24

Color Drawing option in Scan's Image Enhancement

There is a new Color Drawing option under Scan's Image enhancement settings. I'm not sure exactly what it does, but you probably want to use that on your kiddos' drawings from now on. Or leave it at Auto - maybe Drive is smart enough to figure it out.

wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-30-22 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-30-43

Left: new Drive v1.2.352.9; Right: old Drive v1.2.228.32

Pause button is now Pause and not Stop in Offline sync

The button in Offline that pauses the download and lets you resume it later actually looks like a pause instead of a stop now. Kudos for consistency.

wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-57-24 wm_Screenshot_2013-09-11-14-57-08

Left: new Drive v1.2.352.9; Right: old Drive v1.2.228.32

That's all for now, folks. If we dig up more things or if you spot something we missed, please drop a note in the comments. An APK teardown may be in order if we are able to arrive at solid conclusions of what may be coming in the future.

Download

Thanks:

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Lupe Fiasco

    I Hope that Bottom Action bar makes it way to Google+ Next.

    • remister

      I got a Google+ update today, didn't know what was improved or fixed.

      • Jooyoung Hong

        same. i'm pretty sure he's looking into it

    • Logan

      Good lord does it need it. That bottom action bar is just so... damn ugly.

      • Nick Rosas

        Agreed! The black background with the little grey line is really unsatisfying to the eye lol. The Holo white background plus a lighter shade of colors for the buttons will look nice imo

    • Jooyoung Hong

      i hope it doesn't... looks like iOS

      • akshay7394

        No, more because the current implementation in the G+ app is ugly as hell; this would still be a step up.

    • Ryan Stewart

      ? As in the look/feel because my Google+ already has a bottom action bar that behaves in the way he describes. Its got Photo, Location, Mood and Write as options.

      • Lupe Fiasco

        Correct, but it's Pure Black and fits nowhere with the design of the overall app. Change it to the Holo Light color present in the Google Drive app now and the Google+ app will be perfect.

  • Crispin Swickard

    I think that pretty much kills Holo Dark on the app level.. I prefer Dark to light especially on an AMOLED screen. I really wish they would just toss a switch in the Google Settings app to change Light/Dark schemes on the Google Apps, but not even an option on app level. RIP Holo Dark. :(

    • Krzysztof Jozwik

      Down with AMOLED, long live IPS LED

      • Luke

        No thanks. I'll take better black levels over slightly more accurate colours any day of the week. My 2013 Nexus 7 looks pretty bad on a dark screen, the black levels just aren't there.

        And it's the same on desktop monitors too, IPS glow sucks and so do their black levels. I'm waiting fora 2560x1600 VA panel to come out after being extremely underwhelmed by an IPS monitor I recently returned. (It wasn't a cheap Korean or AOC one either)

        • Di Lu

          IPS dominates AMOLED in sunlight.

          • Kim Nilsson

            I wish they had a quick switch between Light and Dark theme overall. Light themes are easier in light conditions and dark in dark conditions.

        • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

          I'd rather have white whites and slightly brighter blacks than blue/green whites, over saturated colors, and inaccurate color replication.

    • Vito Lee

      I prefer dark even on my N4's IPS LCD screen. Mainly because it is a lot easier on the eyes when I use my phone in the dark. Always turn that on if I have the option to so hopefully it is an option at least.

    • jamaall

      i'm wondering why they don't throw that option into the "google settings" app that they created not too long ago?

  • Keith

    How does one get their profile pic and name to appear in the drawer? Mine just shows my email.

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

      Come to think of it, I have no idea. That's my old icon too, I've updated in Gmail and G+ ages ago.

      Edit: Ah, looks like it comes from your private profile. Go to https://www.google.com/settings/me, then click on the last link, then scroll all the way down - you should see a separate DETAILS FROM GOOGLE CONTACTS part. That's where I had the old image.

      • Keith

        This is going to bother the hell out of me until I figure out how to make it happen.

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

          Just figured it out, see the updated post. The image changed as soon as I restarted Drive on my tablet, so that works.

      • Keith

        Thank you.

      • Lucas Laws

        But I like the old image...

      • Keith

        When you say, "click the last link" are you referring to the link that opens the google plus profile?

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

          Correct.

      • Alexei Watson

        Hmm i'm not seeing anything that's stopping my name or image showing in drive.

      • Martin Arnold

        I cannot see this option anywhere, I have this same problem and the picture is missing in the Gmail app as well. Have looked everywhere and change profile photo and nothing. Cleared app date for G+ and Gmail. Removed my account as well and nothing. Any chance you can post a photo of where this setting is?

  • sanjeet

    umm.. Artem your Gmail ID is visible. might want to blur it out.

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

      I have never hidden it, and I don't mind if it's visible.

      • Alexei Watson

        Girls are hitting him up on hangouts all the time from these teardowns

        • Stacey Liu

          Clearly. ;)

        • Matthew Fry

          And nerds with man-crushes disguised as girls.

  • Chronus719

    I'll check this out when I get home... Hoping for chart and graph support in spreadsheets.

  • Christopher Mason

    Why does Google insist on using Holo Light without an option to change to Holo Dark? I hate Light and judging by the number of Dark Google Apps on XDA I'm not the only one.

    • ithehappy

      When people buy OLED screens do they even know what's the advantage of it over a LCD display? If you're gonna use 'dark' stuffs why did you even buy a OLED display at first place?
      Dumb users, and that mostly dumb community called XDA.

      • darkNiGHTS

        Yes, how dare someone use a skin that's aesthetically pleasing to them on a display not suitably optimized for it!

    • Fatty Bunter

      Here's my completely unfounded thought on the subject:
      We tech enthusiast types prefer Holo Dark, while the majority of the population like the light and airy feel of Holo Light.

  • Alexei Watson

    Why does google refuse to use the "What's new" section when updating their apps.

    I mean. google put the damned section there... use it!

    • Krzysztof Jozwik

      To keep sites like this going, in their eyes, they're helping the economy.

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

        Makes my day a bit more fun, that's for sure.

  • robopanda333

    but still no chromecast button?!

    • JJCommonSense

      what would you cast from google drive to your chromecast?

      • fahadayaz

        A presentation?

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

        I'd cast pictures and videos.

      • Fatty Bunter

        GIFs. So many cat GIFs.

  • ithehappy

    Did they change the uploaded file sharing policy? I mean every time I uploaded a file I couldn't make it share with everyone, it remained as a private file, is it still same?

  • maxx

    Damn, I liked the dark theme....

    • EH101

      Wish Google would just let us choose light or dark theme in a setting somewhere. But no... that would be too easy!

  • james kendall

    so still missing off-line editing? :(

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

      Correct.

      • james kendall

        One can only hope they implement that eventually as lord knows it sucks being away from internet connectivity and not being able to edit/create documents.

    • littlevince

      At the end of the day, Google is a cloud company. I'm pretty sure if they wanted to let people edit documents offline, they would have done so many updates ago.

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

        Well, it works on iOS, so...

        • littlevince

          Well then that's just not fair. :(

        • Matthew Fry

          It's surprising and a little disheartening to see Google's apps getting features on iOS before Android.

  • redthunda69

    No bottom action bar is showing up on my Google Edition S4...

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

      You sure you have installed the new version?

      • redthunda69

        100% positive

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

          Weird, I have it on my Note II running 4.1.2 and Nexus 7 running 4.3.

          • redthunda69

            Weird. It's not showing up on my Nexus 10 either.

          • Jamie

            Not showing up for me either. Just downloaded the APK to my Galaxy Nexus.

          • Ryan Stewart

            Doesn't show on my N4 on 4.3. Installed if from the link in the article. I still have the 3 dots menu at the top and the add option that brings up the create options (with scan/upload in there instead of separate).

            Id prefer the create bar than having to go into menu.

      • Olivier Guéry

        I don’t have it neither on my galaxy nexus (purity ROM 4.3) nor on my nexus7 2012 (PA 4.3 ROM). I even try landscape and portrait mode, with no effect. I have the 3 dots menu on the right side where I see a refresh button on the capture here.

        I’ve got an update this morning on my galaxy nexus to v1.2.352.10 but still no bottom action bar.

        May it be linked to the translation ? My ROMs are in french.

  • Guest

    I really wish google would add the option to sync photos into a drive folder *sigh*

  • Paul Birnstihl

    What is a 'staged' update?

    • Wazzifer

      Where the hell have you been?

    • ChavaM

      Users' apps are updated in waves in order to find possible bugs and avoid giving your entire userbase a faulty application.

      • Paul Birnstihl

        Thanks. It's an odd expression 'staged'. Makes it sound like it's not real.

        • ChavaM

          Think of the definition of stages meaning periods or steps, eg stages of pregnancy.

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    I just LOVED that merging / splitting cells are finally in the spreadsheet editor. Grrreat! =D

  • Liang Li

    Nice Archon Artem. POWER OVERWHELMING. Though I always thought the dragoon was the coolest unit. This completely unrelated to this article, I know, but one of my pet projects, and I am not kidding, is "Heart of Darkness" narrated by that dragoon voice. I thought it would fit the general tone of the book.

    "Make Use of Me"
    "Zak Kamida"
    "Galasas"
    "The Nellie, a cruising yawl, swung to her archore without a flutter of sails and was at rest..." (and on for 2 more hours)

  • Guest

    Oh I can see now you are a Protoss bastard, good choice my friend, you are a wise man @archon810:disqus

  • The_Chlero

    Oh I can see now you are a Protoss tech-bastard. Good choice you are a wise men @archon810:disqus

  • Brendan

    I hate how there's still no way to make a copy of a file. That is, unless I'm missing something.

  • http://katzmatt.com/ Matt Katzenberger

    I'm a tablet user, and I positively loathe the bottom create bar. It's ugly, & a huge waste of space. Just put the 'new' button back in the top action bar where it belongs.

  • miri

    I don't have the create bar :(

    Otherwise, I'm loving it. I've always hated Holo dark/Holo light w/ dark action bar.

  • samwist23

    How do you get that download/upload monitor on the top right of the screen? I've been trying to find out for days now, without success.

  • Thomas Wong

    I don't get it. So Google removed the Menu button to make room for Quick Return-style menus? Also, are they moving away from icon-only buttons to old-school "icon and text" big buttons?

    • miri

      The menu button's still there. That's just a Galaxy device, so it doesn't show up. Quick return bars are meant to bring the most important actions to the top. If they were moving away from anything, I'd say it was split action bars which take up permanent space.

    • Abhijeet Mishra

      IMO icon and text buttons should be default, as most users simply do not understand stuff just looking at the icon. Even the swipe to refresh is confusing for many, as after the app shows a demo of that function the first time, there's usually no indicator that yeah, you can pull down to refresh, so it's good Drive still has a refresh icon up there. Google really needs to make things more simple, and this is the right step, at least in Drive (even if both a refresh icon and swipe down to refresh might be redundant, redundancy is good when it helps the user).

  • nathanielbaratta

    Can somebody please explain to me why they have not updated this app to let us create a powerpoint presentation via tablet or phone?!?!? I mean we can view them so why can't we make them? If this was available I would really not have a reason to even need a laptop, unless I'm too lazy to write on my tablet or even just speak to it.

    • Matthew Fry

      Too much work. Also, while a lot of people push for content creation tools on tablets they remain squarely in the class of content consumer devices (phones, tvs, tablets, consoles, etc.) not content creator devices (laptops and desktops).

  • Carlos

    Does anyone know why I can't see my profile picture in the avatar of the account switcher on G drive? it's the only place where I can't see it.

    • Tony Sarju

      I was just fiddling with the current version and realized my avatar is a really old one. I just cleared data for the app and hoped it would refresh with my current pic but it didn't.

      • Carlos

        I had same problem on previous version. Don't know what it can be as the google account is correctly configured on all services...

  • http://visionaforethought.wordpress.com/ Oflife

    This is all cool, but Google need to fix/re-write the useless, unreliable, unsafe (files/folders erased, moved around) Mac Google Drive client. (Unsure of the Windows one.)

  • saltyzip

    Can you now view graphs in the spreadsheet on the phone?

  • Ryan Stewart

    Is there some trick to enabling the create bar? I have mine updated from the APK and it never shows up.

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

      I've heard some people unable to see it. No idea why.

  • ParthG

    I still don't have this update yet. What the hell is taking so long? ಠ_ಠ

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