Looks like another big "Update Wednesday" for Google, starting with the Drive app. Today's update brings just a couple of small-ish changes... unless, like the rest of the internet, you have an obsession with animated GIFs. Or you scan a lot of documents. Or both.
New 1x1 widget for faster document scanning
Support for animated GIFs
It's worth noting that the widget doesn't actually show up under the widgets menu on launchers like Nova, but rather under the "shortcuts" option.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way.
If you're a cloud storage junkie and you haven't checked out Copy, shame on you. It's your typical Dropbox/Google Drive/Skydrive/Box.net competitor with a twist: shared files and folders can be assigned to a single user so that they don't count against the data storage limit for other users. The previous version of the app wasn't exactly up on the latest visual design trends, but now Copy has a much cleaner look.
Old above, new below.
The app still has basically the same features: individual users get the access to all their cloud storage files, synced to desktops running Windows, OS X, or Linux.
Google has rebuilt Sheets, the spreadsheet-related portion of its online office suite, and is making the new version available immediately. None of these changes directly affect the Android version of the app, but given that this is the desktop browser-based companion to what Google would consider the platform's best spreadsheet editor, it may be time to give the service another go if you aren't already a committed user. The new version of Sheets comes with a range of new features, including offline support. Now users can work offline and have their files automatically update after reconnecting.
The new Google Sheets can handle millions of cells spread across any number of rows and columns.
According to the official Drive Google+ page, the Android client for Google's cloud-based file and document manager will be receiving an update "over the next few days" adding new, richer editing features, as well as a few smaller feature tweaks. It looks like a lot of these features have already been available on the version of Drive that shipped with KitKat (1.2.403.9), though the one rolling out today is even newer.
Google specifically mentions search - a big must-have that the mobile app has been lacking - as well as search and replace, inserting / managing tables, and named styles as some of the new editing tools that will be included in the new version of the app.
We're used to seeing Dropbox space bonuses on various Android phones and tablets, but Google Drive is out there with some free byte promos too. Owners of the HTC One and One Max will be tickled to know they may be eligible for some extra cloud storage through a new Google-HTC deal. There are a few caveats, though
Google left many of us scratching our heads when they relaunched Quickoffice last month as a free app, one that probably should have shipped as a Google Drive update instead. Nonetheless, a new version has rolled out that nudges things in the right direction. Now opening a Google document inside Quickoffice will launch the file using the Google Drive app. Previously the document was merely displayed as a PDF instead.
Google bought Quickoffice a while back, but didn't really say what it had planned. Well, now we know at least part of the deal. Google has relaunched the Quickoffice app on Android. It's completely free now, and has a new interface and tight integration with Google Drive.
A week or two after Chromecast hit the streets, we started to see all kinds of unofficial applications for Google's HDMI streamer, many of which came from CyanogenMod Team member and ClockworkMod creator Koushik "Koush" Dutta. Now he's worked around the developer whitelist for Chromecast, allowing his app to be used on any Android device and with any Chromecast. He's calling it AirCast, and it's available for a test download now.
The app allows users to stream video to a Chromecast TV from the gallery app on your local Android device, or from your Google Drive or Dropbox account. The app itself doesn't do much as far as the interface is concerned, it just adds the distinctive Chromecast button to the relevant sections of those apps.
In a detailed post to Google+ this morning, Googler Virgil Dobjanschi announced new and enhanced features for the Google+ Android app. They'll be arriving in an update to version 4.1, set to go live today. According to Dobjanschi, the changes are focused on additions and revisions suggested by end users, and looking at the list, we're inclined to believe him.
First of all: no more Google+ Messenger. Ha-lay-freakin-lujah. Since the new Hangouts app has effectively replaced G+ messenger on the web, the mobile version is following suit, meaning you won't ever have to see that extraneous icon in your app drawer again.