Google Drive for Android Update Allows You to Open Microsoft Office Protected Files

Google Drive for Android - July 2018

The Google Drive for Android app has a new update rolling out this morning, bringing support for opening Microsoft Office password protected files with it.  The new build is version 2.18.252.01 for those keeping score at home and has been released to the Play Store.

While Google Drive online has been able to open and view password protected Microsoft Office files, the mobile versions of the app haven’t supported the feature.  If you tried to open a password protected file, you would get an error indicating the file couldn’t be opened.  Now Google Drive has feature parity across the desktop and mobile platforms.

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Google Vault Update Brings Customizable Google Hangouts Retention Policy

Google G Suite

A new update for G Suite paying customers is rolling out that brings a handful of improvements to the Google Vault feature.  With the update, you will be able to set a custom retention length of time for Hangouts Meet recording as well as be able to set a policy for user’s Drive trash folders.

For those who are not G Suite users or who are unfamiliar with it, Google Vault is your domain’s retention policy manager when you use the service from Google, allowing you to set how long things like emails and files are retained along with Hangouts Meet recordings and search results.

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Google One Goes Live for Google Drive Subscribers

Google One for Android

Google One, the Mountain View company’s new all-in-one storage, support and benefits program, is now starting to go live.  Paid subscribers to Google Drive are now getting notifications via email that their account has been converted to a One account and for them, the One app has now lit up too.

One is a central repository of sorts for your Google Drive storage and gives you the ability to share that storage with other members of your family.  It also provides you access to Google support via chat, phone or email and that support is available 24/7.    You can also adjust your drive storage account in the app, change payment methods, manage family members and even shut down your subscription.

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Google One is The New and Improved Google Drive

Quick Access in Google Drive

Google has made a pretty significant announcement with regards to Google Drive today.  In a blog post, the Mountain View company announced that Google Drive would be rebranded as Google One and bring with it more storage and features.

The most visible change to Google One over Drive is the tiers and pricing structure.  For $1.99 per month, you can pick up 100GB of storage.  That is the same price as today but if you need just a little bit more, there will be a 200GB tier that will be $2.99.  Perhaps the bigger news is that current 1TB account which is $9.99 per month will double to 2TB at no additional charge.  This puts a huge amount of pressure on other cloud storage providers like Dropbox and Microsoft’s OneDrive.

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Google Jamboard Created Files Now Show Up in Google Drive

Jamboard Files in Google Drive

Google Jamboard, the whiteboard sharing and collaboration tool, has a new feature rolling out that will be handy for G Suite users who have the device.  You will now be able to see your Jamboard created files in your Google Drive, making it easier to review and to share those files with others.

While the rollout of this new feature will take a few days, once you have it, you will be able to do three key functions within Google Drive with Jamboard files:

  • Share jam files directly from Drive.
  • Open jam files from Drive in the Jamboard web and mobile applications.
  • Search for jam files in Drive (by entering “type:jam” in the Drive search bar).

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Google Drive Update to Bring Who Shared Files With You Online

Google Drive People Predictions

A new feature is rolling out to all G Suite customers on Google Drive that will show you who shared files with you.  To this point, when you go to the shared with me section of Drive, you see the files that are shared with you and, if you view in list mode, you will see the name of the person sharing it with you.  This works okay-ish but Google has found that one of the most common searches done in Drive is the name of someone who shared a file with you.

Enter in this new feature.  Once deployed, you will have a Quick Access card in the shared with me  section which will feature that person’s name and the files they have shared.

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Quick Access Coming to Google Docs for G Suite Customers

Quick Access in Google Drive

Google has announced that the Quick Access feature will be rolling out to Google Docs for G Suite business and enterprise customers.  Functionally, it is very similar to the Quick Access feature that is found in all versions of Google Drive.  For Google Docs however, it is more AI driven based on Drive activity as well as the content of the files themselves.

Quick Access for Docs uses artificial intelligence to suggest relevant files based on signals like Drive activity and information in your documents, so you can work with the most up-to-date information and create new material quickly.

Google points out that for this feature to work, customers must have Google Cloud Search enabled on their domain.

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Google Drive Now Allows Commenting on Microsoft Office Files and PDFs

Google Drive Icon

A new feature to Google Drive is currently in the process of rolling out to all G Suite versions that will allow for commenting – and to be able to see those comments – on Microsoft Office files, PDFs and image files.  The new feature means that users of G Suite will be able to collaborate with colleagues or others outside of their organization who use Microsoft Office.  More importantly, this can be done without having to convert the files.

The new feature appears in Google Drive online and when you open up the preview pane on a Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint file, you will be able to see the comments on that file and be able to add comments.  They will be saved and will stay attached to the file.  This should significantly lower the friction on collaborating on projects within organizations and with customers of an organization.

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