Google Drive for Android review: Solidly blends docs, storage, and file sharing

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Google Drive (Android)

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4.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

1 stars 4 user reviews

The Good Google Drive has sharing options galore. It's great at viewing all types of Google documents, and offers powerful editing while on the go.

The Bad There is no security passcode option. No editing of Presentations or Drawings.

The Bottom Line For Android users, Google Drive is a must-have download, as it offers convenient cloud storage space, Google Docs functionality on the go, and file-sharing capabilities to boot.

8.7 Overall
  • Installation and Setup 10.0
  • Features and Support 9.0
  • Interface 9.0
  • Performance 10.0

Editors' note: This review was updated on May 30, 2013, to cover the features added in the latest version.

Similar to the experience on the Web, Google Drive for Android opens up to a revamped navigation panel that sports the white space and clean lines of Google Now. From here, you can see a list of all your files (My Drive), files that have been shared with you, starred files, recently modified files, or offline files. There are also controls for creating new documents or spreadsheets, and uploading files to be stored on your Drive. The built-in widget gives you a quick, one-tap way to create or upload files to your drive, and you can even add Home screen shortcuts directly to files or folders.

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The new tiled Dashboard is meant to look and feel like the card-based interface of Google Now. Of course, if you're not a fan, you can easily revert back to the list view as well. Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

Long-press any item in your list for options to Share, Rename, Delete, or send a link to your file. The newest version of the app also lets you download a copy to your device or print from any Cloud-ready printer. And if you plan on traveling to an area without Wi-Fi or data coverage, there's also an option to make files available for viewing while offline. I've personally used this feature countless times while on vacation.

In previous versions of Google Drive, file editing was basic, but with the most recent updates, the app has significantly powered up on that front. The Documents editor offers alignment options, lists, bold, italic, and underline, as well as a rudimentary color tool and the capability to edit tables. Meanwhile, the Spreadsheets editor is now worlds better than it was before. With the newest update, you have all the basic editing tools at your disposal, plus you can now change text color, cell color, and cell alignment. And it's important to know that formatting is maintained when you cut and paste content among documents in Google Drive. The downside is that the Google Drive app still lacks the capability to edit Presentations and Drawings. You can view them through the app, however. Lastly, the Drive app does let you create, reply to, and resolve comments via the Documents editor.

On top of all the old Google Docs functionality, Google Drive is really just a simple file storage platform. Like Dropbox, it automatically syncs with the cloud, so that everything is consistent across all of your devices. Also, it lets you share (add collaborators to) any kind of file, including music, images, and videos. Altogether, it is a fantastic option for storing, syncing, sharing, and collaborating.

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