- Google Drive is a great cloud storage solution with features like syncing, sharing, embedding, and free storage, but managing files on the Android app is a challenge for tablet users.
- Google has made improvements to the Drive app for tablets, including an overhauled design, displaying file details in dedicated columns, and displaying the full folder hierarchy for easier navigation.
- These updates improve the user experience on large screen devices, provide consistency with other Google apps through Material Design 3, and now reach all Drive users.
Google Drive is one of our favorite cloud storage solutions for many reasons. It offers platform-independent syncing, convenient sharing, tight integration with Google Workspace utilities, and 15 GB of free storage for every new Google account created. However, it’s definitely easier to manage files on the Google Drive website rather than using its Android app. It’s a problem tablet users know all too well, but Google is finally solving the problem for good.
Drive is the default app for storing all your Workspace documents and even photo backups. You can also use the cloud storage service to collaborate with others or simply share files with your own devices. This is enabled by the Drive app on Android, which recently received a visual overhaul, but the UI doesn’t make it easy to quickly jump between directories. A large-screen device like an Android tablet helps things, but even then we often find ourselves defaulting to the Web Drive UI running in Chrome.
Google is placing more emphasis on tablets, however, as we discovered in March when the company decided to make better use of the extra screen real estate. We also spotted Google testing a neat two-page, paperback-like layout for viewing documents on a tablet. The latest batch of updates goes even further.
Google Drive on multiple big screen Android devices
Building on the revamped design that displays files in a dense list, Google Drive now shows you the file size and last modified timestamp in dedicated columns. Placing these details right next to the file name makes it easy to find which items you’ve worked on recently and which ones are taking up the most space. In comparison, the web list view shows you document owners instead of file size.
Another big tablet-centric change to the Drive app for Android instantly reminds us of GitHub and the Drive web UI. Google now shows the full folder hierarchy for the current view, where previously it only showed the parent folder name. The new design helps you easily retrace your steps and navigate complex folder structures without spamming the gesture or back navigation button.
While not as significant, Google Drive is also following the Material Design 3 bandwagon with several UI elements featuring slight changes. Overall, this minor change makes Drive feel like any other Google app, ensuring brand consistency across all platforms, devices, and services.
These improvements for tablets and other large screen devices are already rolling out and should be available on your device soon. These changes are not specific to Workspace accounts, so every Drive user will be able to benefit from them. Google says the wider rollout will begin on November 27 and take 15 business days.
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