Introducing: Google Drive Home Screens, brought to you by Google.

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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Google has recently updated Drive with brand new “home screens,” which provide an updated view to find your most relevant and recently edited documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

Google Drive HS

Given that many of us use Google Drive every day to collaborate on everything form client reports and analysis all the way to custom data visualisations, it’s exciting to see progress by Google for its users. The new look is clearly inspired by Material Design (let’s hope Google applies this to its other products in the coming months).

The new home screens are dedicated areas for each file type that you create with Google Drive. Meaning, when you visit one of the home screens you will find your recently opened files. You’ll be able to find your home screens at:

Not only is there a very nice drag and drop functionality, which allows users to quickly place documents into created folders, but you’ll also be able to view your most recent activity on a right sidebar which is a plus if you’re sharing the account with others.

The Google Drive team has also launched other new features that are definitely worth your time:

Add the Chrome extension to edit files offline (that’s right, OFFLINE)

Grab the new Google Drive mobile apps

Checkout the new suggested edits feature

Why The New Home Screens?

Google has successfully moved its suite of productivity apps away from Google Drive and into their own Docs, Sheets and Slides app on mobile, however, this separation has not always felt as clear on the web. So the reason is mainly to align the way we use Google Drive across desktop and mobile devices. These apps are designed so that you may focus on a particular type of file when using the app, which also means that the apps can be streamlined to particular tasks instead of being overloaded to cater for every different type of document. The aim is to create an interface that looks the same and works the same across every sort of device. It wouldn’t surprise me if Google does this from now on, making changes to both their mobile and web based applications and trying to keep them visually and functionally the same. Regarding Google Drive and it’s breakdowns, each interface is similar apart from the different colour scheme for each app; below is the new interface for Google Docs on the web:

Google Docs

Reviews have been a bit mixed, with some users on Google+ loving the new feature and others reverting back to the pervious version where every file is accessed from Google Drive. You can still access your files in a consolidated screen by heading to which continues to work in a similar way to the previous version. I personally prefer the new layout. Don’t knock it till you try it.

To activate this new look, just head on over to your Google Drive account (it may prompt you to try out the new look) and click the gear icon on the top right of the page and click on “Experience the new Drive.” Like I mentioned before, you can revert back by clicking on the gear again and hitting “Leave the new Drive.”


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