Google Drive

Following Gmail on Android and iOS last month, the latest G Suite app to get the Google Material Theme is Google Drive. Compared to other redesigns, this is a significant navigation revamp that introduces a bottom bar and focuses on smart suggestions.

The new Google Drive features four sections with the current “My Drive” view of folders now located at the very right in the “Files” tab. Two additional tabs here allow you to view Computer back ups and Team Drives.

Google wants users to primarily interact with “Home,” which “surface the files that are most important to you,” like on desktop. Visually, large image and document previews take up the entire width of the screen. Factors taken into account for suggestions include:

  • The last time you accessed or edited a file
  • Who specific files are frequently shared with
  • What files are used at specific times of day.

The two other tabs include Starred and Shared for “quicker access to your most important items.” A FAB in the bottom right corner that features the four-colored ‘+’ icon lets users create a new Google Doc, Sheets, and Slides, as well as folder, upload, or scan.

A full-width search field is now at the top of Google Drive. A hamburger icon to open the navigation drawer is at the left, while the account switcher is on the right. Google notes this bar will also be available in more locations throughout the app, including Team Drives.

Meanwhile, a revised action menu “emphasizes the most frequently used actions at the top,” while toggles for starred and offline are now buttons. Other Material Theme tweaks include the animated bottom bar only showing the text label for the current tab, while the background is now fully white.

The iOS update begins rolling out today, while Android users will begin seeing the redesign next week on Monday, March 18th.

Update 4/8: As of today, the Google Drive Material Theme on Android should be widely rolled out with version 2.19 or later from the Play Store.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: