Google Drive updates Android UI, adds document scanning

Stored documents can be searched like text files

Google's Drive cloud storage service has undergone a facelift for Android users, and is now capable of capturing a document by converting a photo of it to text.

The upgrades, announced today on the Google Drive blog page, also includes a cleaner user interface and Drive files are displayed in a "simple card-style," Google stated. The new interface allows Android users to swipe between files to see larger previews and to find information.

"And if you want to keep some Drive files on your Android device, you'll now be able to 'download a copy' from the actions menu inside settings," Google stated.

An example of Google Drive's new Android UI for files.

The updated Drive for Android app also adds a scanning feature that allows users to take smartphone snapshots of documents, such as receipts, letters and billing statements. Users choose the "Scan" command from the Add New menu, snap a photo of a document, and Drive will turn the document into a PDF that's then stored.

Because Google Drive can recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, users can perform a search to retrieve a stored document.

Google Drive's document scan feature allows you to snap a photo of a document and have it translated into text for archive purposes.

"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," Google stated.

Google Drive's spreadsheet app also received upgrades that allow users to adjust font types and sizes, resize columns, and sort data, as well as change the cell text colors and alignment.

Cloud Print support has also been added to Google Drive so mobile users can now print anything from a Cloud Ready printer.

This article, Google Drive changes Android UI, adds document scanning, was originally published at

Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is

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Lucas Mearian

Computerworld (US)
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