Google has announced that big changes are coming to Google Drive, its cloud-based file storage platform. This latest series of tweaks to the popular cloud storage service come mainly in the form of a shiny new landing page, but there’s an extra treat in sort for iOS users.
The new homepage (aptly named the ‘Home’ view) will become the default landing page for every Drive user when it rolls out over the next couple of months – though you’ll be able to swap back to the old view if you prefer. In a blog post explaining the changes, Google says that Home will be “streamlined” compared to the standard My Drive landing page, designed to make it “easier and faster for you to find files that matter most”.
To that end, the Home screen will include personalized suggestions that use AI to learn which files and folders you access regularly (or documents that are tied to upcoming events in your Google calendar). It’ll also include new ‘search chips’ that make filtering your files easier, and will employ Google’s Material Design 3 guidelines for a (hopefully) more modern and user-friendly look.
That’s not all, folks
Google isn’t stopping there, either. A long-awaited Drive feature is finally coming to iPhone and iPad: the document scanner, which uses your device camera to take high-quality scans of physical documents which are then converted to PDFs, with the ability to scan multiple pictures in succession for producing multi-page documents.
The feature has been available for Drive users on Android for a while now, so it’s good to see that Google isn’t planning on leaving iPhone owners out in the cold. The document scanner (which was recently upgraded for Android Users) will also use machine learning to suggest names for your scanned documents, such as recognizing a receipt from a store and giving it an appropriate filename.
The scanner feature is rolling out to iOS and iPadOS users now, so if you’ve got an Apple device you can expect to have it soon if you don’t already. The updated Google Drive homepage will be arriving at a slower pace, with early access starting now and a wide release for personal users from January 15 next year.
I’m personally a little dubious about an AI-powered homepage for Drive – ‘suggested content’ in the software I use has rarely been useful in my experience, AI-assisted or not. But thankfully Google has already confirmed that users will get an instant pop-up asking if they’d like to swap their default view back to the old My Drive page, so it’s not like this change is being forced on us.