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Google Drive's Material Design revamp out now on iOS, next week on Android

Google has released Drive's Material Design update on iOS nearly a week before Android.

Published onMarch 13, 2019

Update, March 13, 2019: Google Drive’s Material Design refresh has begun rolling out to iOS devices, so iPhone users can expect the update to hit in the next 15 days. As mentioned in the original article below, it features a number of visual and navigational changes that bring the cloud storage service more in line with other G Suite apps like Gmail, Google Docs, Sheets, and so on.

The app now opens to a home screen that displays important documents, as determined by Google’s machine learning algorithms. The other sections, which contain starred files, shared files, and all files respectively, are accessible via the icons at the bottom of the screen.

Switching accounts is now easier via the icon in the search field, which itself is now a full text field at the top of the screen rather than a button. The actions menu has also been revised to list the most frequently used actions at the top. Toggles for link sharing, add to starred, and make available offline have been changed to buttons.

In an entirely predictable mobile development quirk, the updates began pushing out to iOS devices nearly a week earlier than Android devices. The refresh will begin rolling out to Android G Suite users on March 18. Read more in the official blog post.

Original article, October 5, 2018: With Phone, Contacts, and Android Messages getting fresh updates to the newer version of Material Design, XDA Developers reported that Google will push out a similar refresh to Google Drive sometime in the near future.

Discovered in collaboration with developer Kieron Quinn, the redesign is buried in the latest version of Google Drive. It is not yet rolling out to everyone, however, so the look could still change before Google hits the switch on its end.

That being said, the redesign follows other Google apps’ design aesthetics and features an absurd amount of white everywhere. Keep in mind that the current incarnation of Google Drive also features plenty of white, though there is also some gray here and there.

The new Google Drive also places the Home, Starred, Shared, and Files menus at the bottom bar. You can still tap the hamburger icon on the top left to access additional menus, though the presence of the bottom bar means you do not have to access the hamburger menu nearly as much as before.

How to use Google Drive: Everything you need to know
Google Drive featured stock photo 4

The redesign also means you can tap the profile icon on the top right to switch accounts and features a persistent search bar at the top. Google’s Product Sans typeface is also front and center, along with more rounded corners.

Finally, “My Drive” shows your files in one column instead of two and the file details screen does not show toggles. If you want to toggle sharing, starring, and more, you will have to tap the menu item.

As previously mentioned, the new design is not yet rolling out to everyone. It is available in the latest version of Google Drive, however, so make sure to update the app from Google Play and be ready to play the waiting game for who knows how long.

You can download Google Drive at the link below.

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