Google Revamps Drive for Android, Adds Document ‘Scan’ Function
Google on Wednesday updated its Drive for Android app with a new look and features aimed at making it easier to store and access your files on the go.
The Web giant revamped the app's user interface so that files are now displayed in a clean, simple grid view. You can also swipe between photos and other files to see large previews, which should make it a little easier to find and review the specific files you need.
"The updated Drive for Android app also gives you to a way to keep track of important paper documents like receipts, letters, and billing statements," Google software engineer Denis Teplyashin wrote in a blog post. A new "scan" feature lets you snap a photo of your document and Drive will turn it into a PDF that is stored in your account.
Even better, Drive can recognize text in scanned documents thanks to optical character recognition (OCR) technology, meaning you can search by the contents of the document to find it later. This feature is available from the Add New menu.
"No more frantic scrambling through drawers looking for a receipt or digging through your pockets to find that business card — just scan, upload and search in Drive," Teplyashin wrote.
Google Merges Free Drive, Gmail Storage to 15GB
Google today unified the storage limits for Gmail and Google Drive, giving users 15GB of free storage across both products.
Now instead of having a 10GB limit on Gmail and 5GB on Google Drive and Google+ Photos, users get 15GB overall.
"With this new combined storage space, you won't have to worry about how much you're storing and where," Google wrote in a blog post. "For example, maybe you're a heavy Gmail user but light on photos, or perhaps you were bumping up against your Drive storage limit but were only using 2GB in Gmail. Now it doesn't matter, because you can use your storage the way you want."
To keep track of how much you're using, Google will update its Google Drive storage page, which will let you hover over a pie chart to see how much storage you're using across Google's products (above).
The change will be rolling out over the next few weeks, Google said. The move also applies to Google Apps users, who get 30GB of unified storage.
If you still need more space, you can buy an extra 25GB for $2.49 per month or 100GB for $4.99 per month to start - and go all the way up to 16TB for $799.99 per month.
Google Drive Cloud Service Coming Next Week?
Google's rumored cloud service, dubbed Drive, is reportedly set to launch in the next week.
The Next Web got its hands on a draft release of materials about Google Drive from one of its partners. The data revealed that Google Drive includes 5GB of cloud storage and could launch next week, with the blog speculating that Tuesday or Wednesday could be the day.
As TNW noted, the 5GB of storage trumps the 2GB provided by Dropbox, which will likely be Drive's major rival once it launches.
TechCrunch, meanwhile, posted screen shots from what is reportedly the Google Drive OS X app. The blog downloaded the app and installed it on the desktop, though it was "unable to connect to the mothership."
TechCrunch installed version 1.0.2891 and logged in using Gmail credentials, but was presented with an error message that said "Google Drive is not yet enabled for your account."
"I dug around a bit in the files and found that there is native support for Google filetypes like files produced in Gdraw and Google Docs," wrote TechCrunch's John Biggs.
Reports about Google Drive first emerged in early February when the Wall Street Journalsaid the Google offering would allow on-the-go access to files stored in the cloud and the ability to share that data with friends or co-workers.
Last month, TalkAndroid.com reported that Google Drive was on track for a mid-April release with 5GB of storage.
Google has thus far declined to comment on "rumor or speculation."