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 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.

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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).

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

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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.

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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.

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

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Merging/splitting and freezing/unfreezing columns/rows

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


Google Drive
Google Drive
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free+