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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Slack Activity Integration Comes to Google Drive

Slack Activity in Google Drive

Google has announced a further integration of Google Drive and Slack where you will now be able to see Slack related activity on a file that has been shared on Drive.  The announcement indicates that the new activity feed works two ways:

Two types of actions are logged as events: someone sharing a file stored in Google Drive, and someone commenting—within Slack—on a Google Drive file that has been shared in Slack.

The good news is that these comments and activities are only available on files that have been shared on specific Slack teams or channels.

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Google Photos View Being Removed in Google Drive

Google Photos in Google Drive

Google is in the process of rolling out a change they announced back in early December 2017 where viewing of Google Photos will no longer be available in Google Drive.  To be clear, this is in reference to the Google Photo menu option on the left.  If you click on that either online or in the Android/iOS app, you will no longer be able to view them.  Instead, you be prompted to go to Google Photos to view them.

Google Photos in Google Drive
Google Photos in Google Drive

The change is in an effort to simplify the connection between Google Photos and Google Drive.  Users were confused on where exactly to go and manage or edit photos as it appeared you could do it in both services.  Now Google is pushing everyone towards Photos for photo management.

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Google Drive Gains Folder Specific Searching Feature

Search In a Google Drive Folder

Google is in the process of rolling out a new folder specific search function for Google Drive online.  The new feature will allow you to right-click a folder stored on your Drive and search only within that folder, not your entire cloud storage.

The idea of course it give you quicker search results if you have a lot of content stored in Google Drive or on Team Drives if you are a G Suite domain utilizing that feature.  It is a feature that has been sorely missed by many, especially customers who are utilizing Team Drives in their organization.

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Google Drive Adds Machine Learning-Backed Quick Access

Google Drive Quick Access

Google has rolled out an update to Google Drive that brings a new, Machine Learning-backed Quick Access panel to the app.  Machine Learning is something that Google is rapidly deploying in all of their products, from G Suite to Google Cloud Platform.  The good news is that everyday users can also gain the advantages of ML in the everyday apps they provide.

This feature rolled out a few months ago for those who are G Suite customers and principally what it does is use a wide set of patterns to determine the files you need to access quickly.  This isn’t just your most recent files as that’s fairly mundane these days.  No, this looks at things like your calendar or activity on your Drive to bubble up the files you are likely to need.

Google Drive Quick Access
Google Drive Quick Access

For Quick Access, however, we constructed thousands of simple features from the various signals above (for instance, the timestamps of the last 20 edit events on a document would constitute 20 simple input features), and combined them with the power of deep neural networks to learn from the aggregated activity of our users. By using deep neural networks we were able to develop accurate predictive models with simpler features and less feature engineering effort.

It is a pretty impressive model and frankly, it works just as impressively.  Looking at a meeting I had on my calendar, it bubbled up a Docs file that I had been using for notes around this particular meeting.  I didn’t have to search for it.  As you use Drive and other Google apps like G Suite (which includes the likes of Gmail, Calendar and of course Docs, Sheets and Slides), it will learn you better to give you more personalized results.

For Quick Access to work in Google Drive, you need to have the latest version of the app on your phone or tablet.  The feature should be enabled by default but if not, you can go into Setting to enable it (or disable it). You can read more about it on the Google Research Blog.