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Quick, if you're on a desktop browser, open a new tab and head for Google Drive. You might just see a new interface for Google's document and storage service, first announced back at Google I/O. Drive is getting a makeover to make it more like navigating files in a desktop file manager, complete with thumbnail views for all items and keyboard modifiers that let you manage multiple files at once. Here, check out Google's slick intro for the new features.


  • A new default view that uses a thumbnail grid instead of a list
  • A combined "new" button for creating new documents
  • File details available from the home screen
  • Desktop-style selection tools, including click-and-drag, Ctrl-modifiers, and drag-and-drop

The new UI seems to be spreading out slowly. If you're part of the initial group of users getting the new stuff, you'll see this prompt the next time you visit the Google Drive website:


And here are a few screenshots from some kind readers. So far, none of the AP team has the new UI, so it may be rolling out slowly.

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 6.49.10 PM

Screenshot 2014-07-08 00.52.29 Screenshot 2014-07-08 00.52.54

Captura de Tela %28176%29

In case you're wondering, the Android Drive app has already been updated.

Thanks, Jack Holt, Jonathan Corvin-Blackburn, and Andrew Jones-McGuire!

Michael Crider
Michael is a native Texan and a former graphic designer. He's been covering technology in general and Android in particular since 2011. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

  • Godspoken

    Nice to see the picture thumbnails, it could get confusing sometimes. Otherwise, I was fine with the UI, but change is good.

    • Matthew Fry

      Especially with the ten "New Document"s I had :)

  • Damian

    It doesn't look like it would use Polymer, it is just some redesign of some elements and features, where is promised look, the one announced at I/O.

    • Miguel Ripoll

      Google wants to make Polymer native, support won't be there until so I guess.

    • http://google.com/+JulioManiratunga Julio M

      Chrome Canary or Dev will likely get full Polymer support in one of the next iteration before Fall, all for testing. Then Google will have to work on an overhaul of all their products.

    • http://JeremyCouch.com/ Jeremy Couch

      Exactly what I was going to say. It does have a nice and clean application feel to it, but why update it now if another update is soon to follow?

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/108482452903817442299/posts Andrew Bone
  • f.d.ar

    I got it. Does it follow the new Material Design of Google on the web ?

  • vorsic

    Can I limit upload speed yet or does it still make my connection useless for anything else while I'm uploading a file?

    • james fuston

      I'd hardly call a jammed upstream a "useless" connection. If you're that concerned, configure port QoS rules on your router.

      • Mental_Moose

        Considering how TCP/IP works, the connection can most definitely end up pretty useless for most tasks that's not streaming (commonly UDP).
        If you cut the upload, you can't reply with "packet received" and it won't help much how great your download is.

        • james fuston

          Except Drive doesn't use 100% of the upload 100% of the time. But I agree with your point, if you have no upload, your connection is useless.

          • http://mwinter.in/ Yan Gabriel MinĂ¡rio

            That's why he said "while I'm uploading a file".

    • ProductFRED

      Sounds more like your slow connection is to blame (even though you have a legitimate feature request that even Dropbox supports).

      • Fraa

        I have that issue too. When Drive is syncing, it eats up the entire bandwidth and I have a 160Mbit (DL)/10Mbit (UL) fiber connection.

    • Bradley Leyten

      I have the same request. Ticks me off when I'm watching Netflix on the Chromecast and it keeps cutting out while I'm uploading files to Google Drive!!

    • MikeOxlong

      No, but you can do that on your own end at either the PC or router level. Depends on what you're comfortable with or allowed to touch :)

      • Steve Freeman

        I really can't think of a way to do this, that wouldn't affect upload speeds for anything you do on that browser. Drive basically uses HTTPS connections for everything (except port 5222, which is actually for Google Talk, so limiting upload speeds for that port probably wouldn't do much), so if you limit based on that, you're shooting yourself in the foot for any other web service that uses HTTPS.

        I guess you could use a specific browser for accessing Drive, and try to find an app that lets you limit connection speeds per app. And afaik, there's no way to limit upload speeds just for a specific URL.

        Though really, this is a Google issue. There's no reason why they shouldn't include this feature. Though granted, I don't have the issue at work or at home, so a larger upload rate would probably help (we're on a DS3 at work I believe, and I have I believe 2MB upload at home).

        • MikeOxlong

          There are more ways to accomplish this than I have fingers and toes. Provide me with some context, and I'll be glad to point you in the right direction. Or, you could just use google and search for a solution...

  • Tim Gueusquin

    Looks more like Drive will probably become the native filesystem in ChromeOS

    • josuearisty

      It should!

    • miri

      Isn't it already?

      • joser116

        It is.

  • Nathan Walters

    Needs more Material.

  • Enigmatic Psychotic

    I don't really see much of a difference.

  • Matthew Fry

    "...you'll see this prompt the next tome time you visit the Google Drive website..."

  • Thomas Wong

    Can I enter something like "New Google Drive now" into the search bar and get it immediately? :D

    On a serious note, I have doubt regarding the new design, eg replacing single-clicking with double-clicking to open files. Is it made so to resemble desktop file explorers? Other changes look fine though.

    • DSHackerc

      You can go into the wrench thingy and click "Experience new google drive"

      • http://www.linkedin.com/in/pratikthakkar Pratik Thakkar

        Doesn't come up for me yet!

  • Zak Taccardi

    I tried editing some MS Office files, but it was pretty buggy. Makes me sad :(

    • karthik nayak

      about time MS supports OpenDoc

  • Nimer55

    As a student who lives in Google Docs, I'm really happy about these changes.

  • http://www.cpcwiki.eu/ Gryzor

    *sigh* I wonder when they'll do a proper/working changes review for shared files...

  • Wall Breaker

    doesn't look much different to me.

  • Brian Koppe

    Does anyone know if the new UI still allows for a compact list view like the current UI? As someone who doesn't really use drive for multimedia, I don't really care about thumbnails (as nice a feature as it may be). I just want a nice, compact list of file names.

    • Steve Freeman

      Wait...you're using Drive, and by extension the Internet, for something other than porn? I think you're doing it wrong.

    • dhinged

      No compact view. I now have to scroll 2-3 times as far for the same folders and documents, and I have dozens of folders and hundreds of documents. It's definitely not easier nor more effective.

    • Chris Buckley

      BRING compact view back! Google don't force us to see less on our screen than before. You gave us different size options before, so please allow us the same with the new interface.

    • lcubed2004

      Pressing 'qq' while in Google Drive UI changes the layout density very similarly to what we hadin the previous version of UI. I hope this is just a temporary work around and they give us compact settings back in the new UI.

      • lcubed2004

        By the way... pressing qq, qq, qq will cycle through 3 different settings.

  • joser116

    These news are from more than a week ago. I should have tipped you guys when Google announced this.

    • Godspoken

      "... first announced back at Google I/O."

      • joser116


        • joser116

          GIF fail

  • deltatux

    Guess it hasn't rolled out for Google Apps users yet. I don't see it on my end yet.

  • My1

    shiny? Well, no. this is the same flat (sorry) bullshit that we see everywhere else since Windows 8, WHY? WHY?

    • Kickstar

      If Google and Apple are basically copying it, must be good right. Although, it's not 'cool' to give MS credit for it.

      What would you rather have? Drop Shadows and Bevel?

      • My1

        truly, that's what we had since Vista and Win7 and it was/is awesome...

  • Ender

    Wow, this is the first time in the history of ever that I've got in with the initial batch of users in a roll-out style update.

  • Kenty

    Look on that Material design! Oh wait..

  • mcored

    Google Drive completely killed https://drive.google.com/#activity page with this new update.



    You see, now the Activity page is a skinny long partial page rather than a full page.

    BTW, Activity is not the same as the new Recent page.

  • http://dylandersen.tumblr.com/ dylandersen

    I've had this for weeks, and absolutely LOVE it.

  • http://www.plus.google.com/+TommyNunno yodatom10

    grr im usually in the first batch of users when it comes to these rollouts... Google must know I really want it :D

  • http://twitter.com/Rodrigost23 Rodrigo Tavares

    Wow! Now waiting for a Gmail treatment.

  • Tom Daley

    Instant Upload?????????? Why do I bother?

  • esc_sequencer

    I only hope one day google drive will "smart" sync with existing folder on my pc, without download all files on drive everytime I install new Windows

    • Christopher Bement

      How many times do you have to install Windows?

  • http://www.plexkits.com/ Rick B

    When are they going to add Tags...

  • http://www.newportessentials.com/ paco cornholio

    I've seen a lot of this in the Android tablet UI, for months. And it really blows.

    Sometimes there is good reason for lists of text strings and clear separation between directories and files.