Google has announced that a new version of Google Drive is coming to both iOS and Android, and that the update will bring a brand new Material redesign to the app. This update will basically make sure that Google Drive on your phone looks more like Google Drive on the web, at least as far as we can see from the provided images and info that the company shared.
Speaking of Google Drive for the web, it received a new Material redesign back in May last year, so it has been quite some time since Google redesigned it. Before we start talking about changes that are coming to iOS and Android, please do note that the update has already started rolling out to iOS users, while the rollout for Android users will start on March 18. This is a gradual rollout, by the way, as it’s usually the case with app updates, so it may take a while before you actually receive it.
The first change that Google notes is a new home tab and bottom navigation. Similar to how Drive handles this on the web, your main screen in the Google Drive app will show you the files that are most important to you. In other words, it will choose files that you’ve last accessed / edited, files that you use at a particular time of day, and specific files that are frequently shared.
A new bottom navigation bar will feature options to switch between Home, Starred, files shared with you (Shared), and all files (Files), which should make it easier for you to access your most important items, it should essentially speed up the process quite a bit. As part of this redesign, Google is also expanding the search bar, as you’ll be able to access it across the application, and that includes the Team Drives page, says Google.
Your Team Drives will be displayed in a somewhat different way once this update land, they will be displayed as a tab next to My Drive in the Files view, while you will also be able to see a Computers tab if you have backed up content from a local machine.
Account switching will also be easier in the new Google Drive for Android, it’s moving from the left navigation menu to an icon in the top-right corner, similar to what you’ve seen in Gmail. Google is also revising the actions menu in Google Drive with this update. Actions menu is attached to every file and folder in Google drive, and this update brings buttons for starred and offline actions, while the most frequently used actions will be at the top of the actions menu.
A number of images showing this redesign are included in the gallery down below, and even though these screenshots (that Google shared) have been taken on an iPhone, the app will look pretty much the same on Android as well. This redesign marks yet another step in a new direction for Google, following the redesign of Gmail and a number of other applications in order to fit better with the company’s new Material Design guidelines, and a new direction that the company is taking. It will be interesting to see if the company plans to bring a dark mode to Google Drive at some point, as that feature had arrived to a number of Google-made applications already.