Google Files finally rolls out its new scanner to digitize documents

What you need to know

  • Google is finally rolling out its new document scanner button in its Files app.
  • The feature lets users utilize their camera and its “auto capture” feature to digitize important documents, photos, and more within the app.
  • The “scan” button arrives swiftly behind the app’s redesign and its recent “Smart Search” function.

Google is starting to roll out a convenient new scanner for digitizing documents within its Files app.

As detailed by Mishaal Rahman on X, users have reportedly started picking up a new “Scan” button at the bottom of the Files by Google app (via 9to5Google). Tapping the new button opens your device’s camera, which features two shooting modes: manual and “auto capture.” When the latter is selected, the app informs users that “Files by Google will have access only to the images you scan.”

Users are then given a chance to spruce up their scanned documents with a few editing tools such as clean, crop, and rotate, and a retake option.

Once saved, Rahman states the scanned document is turned into a PDF and saved within the “Document” tab.

The feature was seen available on varying Google Pixel devices, however, our internal tests show the feature appearing on a Motorola Edge Plus 2023, as well.

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Google rolled out the “scan” button in its Files app a month after its redesign. As 9to5 notes, the company removed the bottom navigation bar, which previously housed the app’s “clean, browse, and Nearby Share” options.

The

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Google Files’ document scanner is finally rolling out more widely

Summary

  • Google Files now offers an easy-to-use document scanner we know from Drive.
  • The new feature automatically crops and captures documents with precision.
  • Documents are saved in a new Scanned section for quick access and uploading.



Google recently introduced a new document scanner to Drive on Android that takes a lot of hassle out of the scanning process. It then turned out that this scanning feature is actually a part of Google’s ML kit, available for use for any Android app. That’s exactly what Google Files now taps into, with the local file organization app now widely rolling out the familiar document scanner.


The new functionality lives inside a floating button in the bottom right corner of the app that fittingly says Scan, along with a stylized icon depicting a document being scanned. Tapping it invokes the scanner interface you may already know from Drive, complete with all the features that make it work so well. When it detects some paper, it will automatically crop and capture it. You can then adjust for any problems like shadows from your phone, stains, or unwanted warping.

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New features and Material Design 3 elements come standard

In the Google Files app, documents are saved automatically in a new Scanned section at the top of the app, with the on-device location being /Files by Google/Scanned. From there, you can quickly upload it to Google Drive or add annotations.


Some have had Google Files’ document scanner for a while now

Google is only rolling it out more widely now

Google first started rolling the scanner to Files back in December 2023. At that time, the feature wasn’t widely available just yet. More than three months later, it looks like the scanner interface

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Google Meet Companion Mode finally arrives on iOS and Android

Google Meet users on Android and iOS will soon be able to use the platform’s ‘Companion Mode,’ a feature that has long been available on the web version of Google Meet.

The feature is useful in group settings, like office conference rooms, as it gives every meeting participant access to interactive features and controls, including polls, in-meeting chats, emoji reactions, Q&A, live captions and more.

“Using Companion Mode from your mobile device is a quick, lightweight way to participate in meetings without opening a laptop. This can be particularly useful in meeting spaces where room for a laptop is limited, or as an easy, discreet way to participate during large in-person meetings, such as all hands or town halls,” Google wrote in an update.

With the feature now on mobile, users will be able to view and zoom in on presented content, exchange chat messages with other participants, and even check in to the room from their mobile.

The mode is rolling out now for iOS and Android users, and it can take 15-30 days to be widely available.

It will be available to all Google Workspace and Google Workspace Individual customers, as well as users with personal Google accounts.

Learn more about Companion Mode on iOS and Android here.

Image credit: Google

Source: Google


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Android 15 could finally reclaim some free screen real estate

Summary

  • Android 15 may require apps on the Play Store to utilize edge-to-edge mode, displaying content under the status bar and navigation bar for a better user experience.
  • Implementing edge-to-edge mode is currently opt-in, and may not be feasible for smaller apps or those with buttons that would overlap with system bars.
  • These changes could have a significant impact on foldable phones and make Android apps resemble iOS apps. The final decision will be revealed with the release of the initial developer beta builds for Android 15.


Android updates have focused on the beautification of user interfaces since Android 12 when Google introduced Material You and dynamic theming. However, things continue to get better, and a lot of improvement now comes through optimization of the existing UI designs. Recently spotted code suggests apps could look better on Android 15, with proper optimizations in place for displaying under the status bar and gesture navigation bar, so content can utilize every inch of the device display.

In the early days of Android, navigation buttons and the status bar rendered a large portion of our screens useless. However, screen-to-body ratios soared, and phone displays became larger, while Android allowed apps to display content under the status bar, around hole-punch cameras, and beneath the navigation bar or pill seen when using gestures. This is aptly named edge-to-edge mode, but even on Android 14, it is opt-in, and app developers aren’t pressured to implement it.

Yes, full-screen apps like e-book readers, video players, and the best Android games use edge-to-edge mode, but you won’t see it with apps like Google Keep or smaller apps developed by individuals. That’s partly because in-app buttons would overlap with the system bars or the effort involved in implementing the relevant APIs just won’t make sense.

edge-2-edge-mode-Android-15-forced-portrait

Source: Mishaal Rahman/Android Authority

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LTE Galaxy A52 finally getting One UI 6 (Android 14) update

The One UI 6 (Android 14) update is now available for the regular Galaxy A52. The 5G model and the Galaxy A52s received the update a couple of weeks ago, and the wait is now over for owners of the Snapdragon 720G-powered LTE variant as well.

The rollout started earlier this week in Russia and is now picking up steam and reaching more countries. The update comes with a firmware version ending in EWL3 and includes the security patch from December 2023.

The update is around 2.2GB in size and will be released on a rolling basis, so it may take some time to reach all users. You can check if One UI 6.0 is available in your country by going to the phone’s Settings » Software update menu and selecting Download and install. We also have the Android 14 firmware in our firmware library, which can be used to upgrade the device over a USB connection on a Windows PC.

The video above will take you through some of the best new features that Android 14 and One UI 6 bring to Galaxy devices, so don’t forget to check it out by hitting the play button. But keep in mind that some of the features may not be available on the Galaxy A52 as the phone launched nearly three years ago and software support for it is on its last legs.

The final feature update for the Galaxy A52 (and the A52 5G and A52s) is likely to be One UI 6.1, which will make its debut on the Galaxy S24 on January 17. However, all Galaxy A52 models will continue receiving regular security updates for at least another year after they get One UI 6.1.

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Google is finally saying goodbye to Google Play Movies & TV

Google is about to fully move on from the Google Play Movies & TV. It had already moved Android and iOS users to the Google TV app, removed the app from every Roku and most smart TVs, and pulled the app from Android TV in October. In a recently published support document, however, Google detailed the ways you’ll be able to watch the shows and movies you’ve bought through Google Play Movies & TV once the brand is gone for good in January.

If you have a TV or streaming device powered by Android TV, you can watch things you’ve purchased or things you want to rent from the Shop tab starting January 17th, according to Google. If you have a cable box or a set-top box that runs Android TV, you’ll watch / rent from the YouTube app starting that same day. And on a browser, YouTube is the place to go, too.

Google has been slowly pushing users away from Google Play Movies & TV for quite awhile, and 9to5Google reports that the Google Play Movies & TV app on Android TV has already started pointing to the Shop tab, so hopefully these changes won’t make for too jarring of a transition. Notably, you’ll still be able to watch the things you’ve purchased even though you’ll be getting the content from a different place, which is better than Sony’s announcement that it will be removing Discovery content that users paid for from their libraries.

Google isn’t the only one consolidating its entertainment apps and platforms. Apple introduced a refreshed TV app that lets you access things like Apple TV Plus as well as buy and rent shows and movies all in one app.

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