- Google Drive’s new user interface makes searching for files easier and faster by switching to a more compact list view in the Suggested tab, with information such as file name and type displayed more prominently.
- The Notifications tab has been replaced with an Activity tab, which serves as a comprehensive hub for all document activity, including comments and access requests.
- The new design is rolling out for the Drive app on Android and iOS, but availability will increase gradually as it is a phased rollout.
Google has spent most of 2023 giving Workspace products like Slides, Sheets, and Docs a healthy dose of AI-powered features. Now the company has turned its attention to Drive, another crucial component at the heart of its Workspace products. We recently reported that Google added a new option to filter files by the named contributor using a new one People drop. This UI addition is just one of many changes Google has in store as it now rolls out a new UI for its mobile app.
The Google Drive Android app user interface has remained virtually untouched in recent months, with the only notable changes being a tablet-friendly rearrangement of the buttons and a Material You update to the web interface. Last week we reported on a few quirky additions to the Android app, like a strange floating action button (FAB) to launch the camera for scanning documents, stacked on top of the New + button to replace the + FAB in the lower right corner. Google has now officially announced these changes, along with a few other tweaks, which should help people who use the app frequently.
Suggested documents are packed closer together
Google says the new user interface is designed to make searching for files much easier and faster. To this end the Suggested The tab, which opens by default, has been switched from a thumbnail view to a more compact list view. Thumbnails aren’t good in Docs or Sheets anyway, and an icon now tells you the file type, while other information like the file name and date edited is displayed more prominently. Because more files are visible at once, you won’t have to scroll as much when you revisit something you recently edited.
The Activities tab is a hub for everything that changes in your files
Secondly, Google has the notifications tab in Drive with a new one Activity tab. While the former shows all activity on your documents in order of recency, the latter is a comprehensive hub for everything like recent comments and open document access requests. The new design also replaces the only drop-down menu for filtering the alerts with different chips such as Access requests, Approvals, etc., all arranged in a horizontally scrolling carousel. The FABs mentioned earlier are also visible on this screen. Additionally, Drive remembers the last opened tab in the bottom bar and uses it by default when you reopen the app, instead of the At home tab as default.
Google started rolling out this new UI design for the Drive app on Android and iOS on November 6 and 10 respectively. However, we expect a phased rollout and it may take some time before you see the new design on your devices. Like most other UI changes, this one isn’t limited by account type and should be seen by anyone with a Workspace account or personal Gmail ID.