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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Three Google Drive Updates You Might Have Missed This Week

This week Google announced three updates to Google Drive that will be of interest to you if you are a regular user of Google Drive. First, as I outlined on Thursday, Google updated the Drive for iPad app. If you have updated your iPad to iOS 8 you will see an option to secure the app with Touch ID. The updated app also included a couple of small workflow enhancements.

This week users of the Google Drive desktop app for Mac and PC received an update that allows them to open files stored in their Google Drive accounts in another desktop application. For example, if you have a Keynote file saved in your Google Drive account you will now be able to right-click on it to open it Keynote on your Mac without having to first download it then open it. For this to work you do have to have the Google Drive desktop app installed and have offline access enabled. That requirement could be a limiting factor in schools in which students share computers.

The third update to note is a new default user interface for Google Drive. Google launched the "new" Google Drive user interface back in June and it has been slowly rolled-out to those who have wanted to use it. Starting this week the new user interface will be the default view and you will have the option to return to the old interface for a while although the old interface will eventually be phased out. This update should make it easier to introduce Google Drive to your students and colleagues as all will be looking at the same user interface.

As always, if you're in a Google Apps for Education domain you may not see these updates immediately if your domain admin does not have you on the "rapid release" track for updates.