Google Drive Material Theme

In time for Cloud Next ’19, Google fully rolled out the Material Theme redesign to Drive for Android earlier this month. An update for the web client today improves the offline experience that allows for viewing and editing when there’s no connectivity.

The Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides web apps have long allowed users to work offline. Documents are downloaded and can be opened without a connection, with changes saved and synced once back on Wi-Fi.

An update today brings those offline capabilities to the main Google Drive website. The site is still taking advantage of the Docs Offline extension which is shipped with Chrome. For some users, interacting with the main page is faster than visiting the three individual app sites.

Once enabled in settings, the Drive app bar will feature an Offline icon to signal that files have been saved on-device. From there, you can also toggle on “Offline preview” to see what documents are available. The site will specifically gray out those that won’t be accessible.

Drive already “automatically and intelligently makes a certain number of Google Docs/Sheets/Slides files available offline based on how recently you accessed them.” However, users can right click on a file and toggle the new “Available offline” toggle to manually store. Files will be marked with a checkmark icon.

To enable, head to Settings > General in Drive and select “Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline.”

This feature is rolling out over the coming weeks and available to all G Suite editions.

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Abner Li

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