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Google Drive app: Google Docs app with new twist and spin

May 8, 2012

Google Drive is the much-anticipated service that Google had always wanted to incorporate into its ever-popular Android OS. Since its release, many users have been thinking of integrating their files with the next-big-thing in cloud storage. Accessing your personal Google Drive storage couldn’t get any better, thanks to the Google Drive application, tailor-made to help users manage their storage account.

First of all, Google Drive for Android is not entirely new but rather, it’s the old Google Docs application under a different brand.  Not much has changed and Google Docs users will find the same interface. There is a twist, however, because Google Drive includes a few Drive options that you could use.

Google Drive for Android  is much different from its older Windows and Mac version clients, as the app doesn’t give you a folder that is constantly synced in the cloud. Instead, you get a phone- or tablet-optimized interface for you to browse your files over the cloud. You can edit your Google Docs files directly from the app itself. You can download files to your phone, select individual files to stay synchronized, and you have the option to make a file available offline.

Launching the application will let you access your own personalize drive. Google Drive sorts your files according to categories: shared files, starred, recent, and offline files.

Tapping My Drive will take you to a list of your files and folders that you can access directly in Google Drive. Selecting a file will open it, provided it’s in a format that’s supported by Google Docs. In case your file is in a format that is not supported, a pop-up dialog box will appear, asking you for an app to use as a replacement.

If you have tons of files on your Google Drive, you can easily sort them by title, when you last modified them, when you last opened them, or when they were last edited by you. You can even refresh the whole file list for any new updates, especially if you’ve shared your files with others.

On your file list, you may notice that each file has an arrow pointing downward next to it. Tapping the down arrow brings up a menu of options for the file. You can either share the file with your friends who are also using Google Drive, send the file online to other file sharing services, or make the file available offline and download it onto your phone.

One of Google Drive’s drawbacks has to be the lack of syncing for folders. The lack of this feature is quite a disappointment for users who have a ton of files sorted into folders. Another thing worth mentioning is that Google Drive for Android only allows a handful of files to be made available offline. In other words, you can never have a folder on your phone that stays synced with Google Drive and can be managed from your computer.

Overall, Google Drive is a straightforward application that, while missing folder syncing and a limit of how many files can be available offline, definitely makes your life easier. Consider it as a supplement or extension of your Google Drive account. You can conveniently access your files from your Google Drive storage directly on your Android phone or tablet.

To be able to access your files anywhere on any Android device, download Google Drive for free from the Google Play Store.