Category: Google Drive

Google Drive Subscriptions Move To The Play Store

If you pay for Google Drive storage, there are some changes rolling out that you need to be aware of going forward.  From now on your Drive subscription will be managed within the Google Play Store like your other subscription apps.  Gone will be the separate purchasing and process for adding storage to your account.  Instead, for Android users, it will all roll up into the Play Store where you can manage all of your subscriptions (like Google Play Music) from one place.

The new process won’t effect anything you have to do as an end user.  Google is migrating accounts to Google Play Store and you should have received an email on this in December.  Once your account is converted over, you will see it as part of your subscriptions in the store.

Google Simplifies Android Migration from iPhones for New Users

Google has been very clear and vocal that one of the primary goals of the new Google Pixel lineup of phones is to lure iPhone users away from iOS and Apple to Android.  While the success of the Pixel and Pixel XL looks strong and the phones are certainly attractive, users moving from one ecosystem to another as they would in this case have one big challenge:  Data migration.  Keeping all your calendar events, photos and videos and contacts are critical for migrating from iOS to Android.  To that end, Google has launched an all new Switch to Android site which outlines exactly what those who want to migrate need to do to assure all their content is backed up.  The key to all of it:  Google Drive.

The step-by-step site has users first download Google Drive onto their iPhone then use the new Backup Wizard built into the app to backup their Contacts, Calendar events, and Photos & Videos.  Once the content that you want to back up is selected, they are all backed up via Google Drive to the respective Google services.  Your contacts go to Google Contacts, your calendar events to Google Calendar and your photos & videos to Google Photos.  Because of limitations in iOS, in order for the backup to work, you must have Google Drive running and in the foreground on your iPhone (iOS doesn’t allow background syncs) and depending on how much data you have, this process could take several hours.  Obviously, use Wi-Fi to do this as it will speed things up (and be cheaper!).

Google Drive Drops Support for Windows XP and Vista

While it shouldn’t come as a shock to most, it is official.  Starting January 1, 2017, Google Drive for desktop will no longer support Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2003.  Given that Microsoft themselves no longer support these older versions of Windows themselves, it only makes sense that Google and other stop supporting it too.  The announcement came via the Google G Suite blog and was very clear that while the app is no longer supported, it should still work.  There won’t be any support or any further updates to the builds of Google Drive for these platforms.

Google Brings Natural Language Search to Google Drive

Google has made a significant change in the background on Google Drive, bringing natural language processing to the search feature of the web-based part of the service.  Essentially what you can now do is search for things using natural language instead of specific file names.  This is the same technology that is used in Google Search to help you find things in a more natural language style.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is a fancy way of saying “search like you talk.” You can type things like “find my budget spreadsheet from last December” or “show me presentations from Anissa.” Drive will understand what you mean and give you the option to click for those specific search results. Drive NLP will get better with each query — so keep on searching. 😉

This new feature is likely to be a big time saver for those who have a lot of files in Drive.

Google Drive Update Adds Home Screen Pinning

Google has pushed an update to Google Drive for Android that has several small but nice updates.  The most notable change is the ability to pin files or folders to your phone or tablet’s home screen.  This gives you quick access to that file without actually having to open up the Drive app itself.  To use this new feature is pretty simple.  Once you have open up the app, next to the file or folder in the list will be an overflow menu (3 vertical dots).  Tap that and you will see an option “Add to Home screen”.  Tap that and it will be added.  To remove it, just tap-and-hold then drag it to Remove.

Outlook.com To Get Improved Google Drive Support

Microsoft has announced that users of the new Outlook.com experience will soon have improved support for handling files from Google Drive and photos from Facebook.  The updates are going to be rolling out over the course of the next few weeks and it is a back end change so there is nothing you need to do.  Once you have the update, Google Drive files will be available to you from the Attach menu when creating an email.  Today when you want to do this you have to open a wholly separate tab.  That will no longer be the case and it will make attaching files out of Google Drive quicker and simpler.

Google Drive Update Bringing Better Duplicate File Management

Google has announced that a change is coming to Google Drive to help cut down on duplicate files.  The update is currently in Rapid release mode with a full roll out happening in a few weeks.  Once it does, if you have file that you are trying to upload to your Drive with the same user name, that older version will be made a part of your revision history and not a separate file.

A common use case for Google Drive users is to download a file from their Drive to modify it locally, and then to re-upload the new version. In the past, this would result in duplicate files (the original and the new one), and users would have trouble finding the latest version. That’s why we’re introducing a change in Drive to deduplicate files which were uploaded in this way.

Once launched, when users upload files that have the same filename as an existing file, they’ll be deduplicated, and the old file will be in revision history. This is so that if any mistakes are made, users can get back to the previous version. Similarly, uploaded folders will be merged with folders of the same name.
For heavy Drive users and for those of us who work on files offline a lot, this will be a very welcomed feature as it will cut down on the duplicate files and subsequent having to clean the up.

Google Drive for Web Sees Improved Download Handling

Google Drive for web is getting some much needed improvements around downloading files and folders to your local PC, Mac or Chromebook.  The update, which is in rapid release now and will be out to every by September 6th, will bring improved zip file downloading from your online content.  The update will break up large downloads into 2GB zip files and will number them sequentially.  The update means that downloading larger files or folders of content will be a bit easier to manage.

Google Lowers Free Google Drive Storage for Local Guides

For those of you who are Local Guides approaching Level 4, you need to get-to-gettin’.  Google has announced that if you unlock Level 4 by July 21st, you will still get the current 1TB of Google Drive storage for 2 years.  If however, you reach that level after the 21st, you will get 100GB.

We are changing the Drive storage benefit for Level 4 from 1 TB to 100 GB, so that we can continue giving Drive storage to all Level 4 qualified Local Guides. Existing Local Guides who were signed up before July 7, 2016 (12am GMT) can still unlock the original 1 TB offer if they reach Level 4 by July 21, 2016 (12am GMT).

The change is a disappointment for sure but has likely come to bare with all of the new Local Guides that are in play now (to be fair, Google did promote the heck out of it).  Still, the 100GB is in line with other promotions that Google offers.  Chromebook owners get a free 100GB of storage when they register their devices so this change is inline with other promotions.

Comment Notifications Come To Google Docs, Sheets and Slides

Google has rolled out a behind-the-scenes update that enabled comment notifications in Chrome and on Android for Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides.  Previously, when someone made a comment on a shared file, you would receive an email notification that the comment had been made on the document.  Now you will get a standard notification on your Android devices or in Chrome when these comments have been made on the file.

Google Ending Support For Old Versions of Google Drive for PC and Mac

If you are a user of the Google Drive app on your PC or Mac, make sure you are up-to-date.  Google has announced that starting July 1st, support for versions 1.22 and older will end.  Version 1.22 is over a year old so the cut back on support for it and older versions makes sense and falls in line with what the company has done on older version of other apps.  For reference, the latest version of the Drive sync app for PC is build 1.29.2074.1528.   To see what version you are running, open up the sync app, click on the menu (3 vertical dots) and then click about.  If you need to update, just go to your Drive folder online and in the lower left corner click on the Download for PC or Mac button.

Google Drive Update Brings File Level Offline Sync with Your PC

Google Drive is rolling out an update to the web side of the service that will allow you to chose on a file-by-file level, the files that you sync with your PC for offline use.  The ability to sync files with your PC has been there for a while with the Google Drive app for PC or Mac but that is an all or nothing proposition at the file level.  You can select folders but you will get every file in that folder.  While this update is only on the web side of Drive, with it you can select an individual file to sync with your PC for offline use.