Google Drive search filters now rolling out on Android

Despite being announced over a month ago and available on iOS for some time, Google Drive on Android is now getting the promised search filters option.

As spotted by Android Police, this function lets you quickly find document types within Google Drive by using filters from the search bar. You can filter out content by specific “File Type,” “People,” and when the file was last “Modified.”

  • “File type” includes Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Forms, Photos & images, PDFs, Videos, Shortcuts, Folders, Sites, Audio, Drawings, Archives (.zip).
  • “Last modified” lets you choose from Today, Last 7 days, Last 30 days, This year, Last year or a custom date or period.
  • “People” includes the original file owner or anyone that was previously tagged within a file/document.

This does help you get the files you need right away, as Google Drive is capable of determining just what common types of content fall into each category. For example, Photoshop .PSD files are identified as “Drawings” per the document type field. If you have lots of files in your Drive account, this could prove to be especially useful when you are juggling various media types:

All of the new filters can be stacked or combined if you want broader searches for content or more refined selections. You can also use your own custom search terms alongside the search filters in Google Drive to pinpoint practically anything you may have uploaded to your online storage account.

This function has been available on iOS and web since the original announcement, but we’re now seeing this on multiple Android devices running the latest v2.24.147.0 build with personal and Google Workspace accounts.

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Google Maps makes drive time on Android Auto bolder

Android Auto is getting a tweak for Google Maps that shows the estimated drive time in the same bolder style as other platforms.

Google Maps has, for a while, shown the estimated drive time with the number in a bold font. But, for whatever reason, this wasn’t the case on Android Auto. Rather, Google Maps would show a constant font across the entire text.

This has changed with recent updates, though.

In the latest versions of Google Maps and Android Auto, we noticed that Google has started showing the bolder number alongside the thinner minutes and hour indicators. It’s a super subtle change, but it’s nice that Android Auto finally matches up with Google Maps elsewhere.

We noticed these changes with version 11.119.0100 of Google Maps and version 11.5 of Android Auto.

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Android users will soon have to sacrifice Google Drive storage to keep WhatsApp Chat backups

A graphical representation of WhatsApp

The social media giant, WhatsApp, is switching things up for Android users. According to a recent news report, WhatsApp users will have to sacrifice a portion of their Google Drive storage to continue backups.

Highlighted by GizmoChina, the meta-owned platform is no longer going to provide the free storage service on Google Drive to users. Previously, users were given the benefits of having end-to-end encrypted chat backups on Google Drive.

These backups did not take a toll on the users’ existing Google Drive storage. However, with the latest company policy changes in place the situation has changed.

Individuals who are currently using the default 15GB storage by Google Drive will now need to be careful about their storage. WhatsApp wrote in its Help Center post that once a user exceeds the given storage limit, they will have to make space for new content to resume the backups.

Here’s what the post mentions:

“In the coming months, if you choose to backup your WhatsApp chats on an Android device, your backup will start counting toward your Google Account storage limit.
If you go over the storage limit, you’ll need to free up space in your Google Account to resume backups.”

The change is currently only for beta users of WhatsApp and began in December 2023. However, to remind all non-beta users, the changes will be applicable on all WhatsApp accounts in the first half of 2024.

Additionally, the app will show a notice notifying users of when the changes will begin. This will appear as a banner 30 days before the implementation of the policy when users go to Settings > Chats > Chat backup.

Lastly, it is important to note that users have the option not to store their chats on Google Drive. Instead, they can transfer their chats

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Google Drive for desktop gets new recovery tool to restore missing files

Google Drive featured stock photo 2

Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

TL;DR

  • Google has updated Drive for desktop with a new recovery tool to restore missing files.
  • The update comes after users reported lost Google Drive files owing to a bug in November.

Google Drive users lost files randomly due to a bug back in November. According to Google, the issue affected a limited subset of Google Drive desktop app users. If you were one of the affected users, Google now has a way to recover your missing Drive files.

The company has updated a support document with instructions to recover lost files. While the issue is now fixed, Google recommends updating to the latest version of the Drive for desktop app on Windows or macOS — version 85.0.13.0 or higher.

Once you have the latest version of Drive for desktop, you can run the recovery tool as mentioned in the steps below. Google notes that this method does not guarantee you’ll get your missing files back. Only if the recovery tool can find a backup will you have a chance of restoring your lost files. You can also recover missing Drive files using the command line interface on your PC. Here’s how both methods work.

Recover missing Google Drive files using the recovery tool

  • Update Drive for desktop  to version 85.0.13.0 or higher
  • Click the Drive for desktop icon in the menu bar or system tray.
  • Press and hold the Shift key and click Settings.
  • Click Recover from backups.

Once the recovery process starts, you’ll see one of the following notifications — “recovery has started” or “No backups found.” If there was a backup, you should get a “recovery is complete” prompt after some time. If the process fails, you may have to free up some disk space and rerun the recovery tool.

If this

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Google Drive on tablets now looks even more like the website

Google is rolling out its latest round of large-screen optimizations for Drive, and the clear trend is how the website UI is coming to Android tablets and foldables. 

Google Drive now shows a “tappable folder hierarchy for their current view” at the top of the screen. In addition to serving as an indicator of where you’re browsing, you can tap to “easily navigate out of nested folders.”

Notably, that hierarchy also exists on the Google Drive website, and the similarities continue with “per-file data columns to show when a file was last modified and how much storage is used” in the tablet app. This appears to replace the two-column list view that previously helped show more content per screen.

  • Google Drive tablet website
  • Google Drive tablet website

Finally, Google makes mention of a “color palette that matches the Google Material Design 3 guidelines.” This applies to the grid view with each folder and file now placed in a card, while the file name appears at the top instead of below the preview.

Another visual tweak unifies the navigation rail on the left with the app bar so that the file view is partitioned into its own section with rounded corners (in the top-left). These changes are rolling out now.

Similarly, Google recently updated Docs, Sheets, and Slides for Android with a toolbar straight from the web UI. The latest tweak is meant to improve the editing experience:

  • In Docs, there is a new mode switcher that allows you to switch between editing, suggestion, and viewing modes. 
  • In Slides, you will have access to an ever-present toolbar while in editing mode. 
  • In Sheets, a cell will be selected by default upon opening the app. 

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Google Drive declutters its home tab in latest redesign for Android

Summary

  • Google Drive’s new UI makes file search easier and faster by switching to a denser list view in the Suggested tab, displaying information like the file name and type more prominently.
  • The Notifications tab has been replaced by an Activity tab, which serves as a comprehensive hub for all document activities, including comments and access requests.
  • The new design is being rolled out for the Drive app on Android and iOS, but the availability will increase gradually because this is a phased rollout.


Google has spent the better part of 2023 giving Workspace products like Slides, Sheets, and Docs a healthy dose of AI-powered features. Now, the company has shifted its attention to Drive, another critical component at the center of its Workspace products. We recently reported about Google adding a new option to filter files by the mentioned collaborator using a new People drop-down. This addition to the UI is just one of the many changes Google had in store, because a new UI for the mobile app is rolling out now.

Google Drive’s Android app UI has remained fairly untouched for the last few months, with the only noteworthy changes being a tablet-friendly rearrangement of the buttons, and a Material You update for the web UI. Last week, we reported on a few quirky additions in the Android app, such as an odd floating action button (FAB) to launch the camera for document scanning stacked atop the New + button replacing the + FAB in the lower right corner. Google has now announced these changes officially alongside a few other tweaks, which should help people who use the app frequently.

Suggested documents are packed closer together

Source: Google 

Suggested documents are packed closer together

Google says its new UI is designed to make file search much easier and faster. To this effect,

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