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April 19, 2012

Google Drive References in Google Docs for Android

The Google Drive launch is not far away and there's more evidence for this in the Google Docs app for Android.

Daniel Baker noticed that the Google Docs app for Android can handle the links that start with "".

The Android app includes many references to Google Drive, which is just a new name for Google Docs. There's a file named GoogleDriveSharedPreferences.xml, a special icon file for Google Drive and there's a modal dialog that's displayed when you migrate to Google Drive.

The Google Drive rebranding could be more about positioning Google Docs as an online file storage service. You can already upload any file to Google Docs and there's an Android app for managing your files, but there's no desktop app for syncing files and there's no integration with third-party services. Another issue is that 1 GB of free storage is not enough.

According to The Next Web, Google Drive could launch next week and offer 5 GB of free storage. There are apps for Windows, Mac, phones and tablets, so you can access files on your computer from anywhere.

{ Thanks, Daniel. }


  1. As you say... 1 GB of free space won't be enough to beat Dropbox. They should go a-la-Gmail and offer a "ridiculous" ammount of space!

    1. Couldnt agree more Zim, if they want to compete with dropbox , they need to step up the game.. or maybe just acquire dropbox??

    2. I was supprised to see the change for Docs to Drive. I used spread sheets to do daily on site work and it would be syncro when I get to my PC and or my Zoom. This will sure be a large problem for me.
      Any suggestions of where else to go to have this available?


    3. I hope someone can help me out as I need the old Docs today and not a new one sometime in a week or so.

  2. With respect, what we know so far suggests that Drive may well be not just a rebranding of Docs.
    If that were the case, it likely wouldn't have taken Google so long to launch it and rumours wouldn't have been around for so long.

    Though it absolutely could be *just* a rebranding exercise, it'd make sense to integrate it into Google+ as a way of easily exchanging files with friends, or somehow making that activity social.

    There will of course be native apps for Windows and we've already seen one for the Mac(TechCrunch article) It'd also make huge amounts of sense for it to be deeply-integrated into Android, perhaps automatically backing up every file you create or transfer to your device that's under a certain size, as the Google+ application does with all photos and videos.

    It'd also be possible to entirely replace the Gmail attachment system, or automatically back every attachment up and have it accesible in a central area, making finding big files a non-issue and making that nearly 8GB of space users get go further still.

    There are a whole lot of possibilities here.

  3. Drive is a re-branding for the "Document List" rather than Docs.
    Documents, spreadsheets and presentations will still be collectively referred to as "Google Docs" but they will be accessible through the Google Drive, along with other file types and larger storage and hopefully some delightful surprises.

  4. My biggest concern about the Android app is that pinned files are not readable by other apps. For example, if I pin a PDF document, Adobe Reader's document list won't see it. If I browse the directory with a file manager app, I can't identify the files.

  5. Do a google search for "". Interesting what comes up second in (my) results.

    1. Sorry. Didn't mean to be cryptic. The support center for google has as its url:
      Not sure what the significance is. Just passing by..

  6. ".. you can access files on your computer from anywhere."

    :( Didn't see Linux in your list ...

  7. I agree with Khlaid, this is much more than a mere docs list rebranding exercise. Full Gmail attachment scraping seems to me probable after the update to the people gadget the other week, which now lists the last 3 images sent by the contact.

    I expect Drive to also be an exercise in knocking through the walls between Google services, giving them all access to one central repository of files. For instance, it's always been absurd that Picasa and its successor in G+'s Photos can't browse image files in Docs. That may be possible after this update.

    1. Exactly. This is something I wrote as a comment at The Digital Reader, just frustration with the way Google services work ;)

      "It is extremely misleading to say that “it comes with less storage than Gmail”. First of all, Gmail does not let you upload what you want – with Docs you can currently watch in the browser, no need to re-download, any video you want. And I mean any video – it’s a piracy haven.

      Second: if something sets Google (and Docs) apart from others, it’s that their services are usually cheap and built for the masses. I have an 80 GB account and it costs me about 1 euro per month- and it works across any web browser, has a very nice Android app that actually lets you edit stuff, there’s no need to download, you can view almost any file in the browser….oh yeah, and it’s also the app that many people use to get work done. Including me.

      So why don’t they just rename it Google Drive and increase consumer awareness of a product that already exists?Because Docs storage sucks. Yes, it’s dirt-cheap, but it’s an island: it doesn’t integrate with any of Google’s own products. Want to attach something to an email? Go to Docs, download to desktop, upload to Gmail. Oh yeah, you can email something from Docs if you are already there – but then that email doesn’t show up on your Sent folder at Gmail. Absurd.

      Another example: the Android app lets me access absolutely any of the files in my 80GB account. You can download a PDF and open it a 3rd-party app, for example, if the native Docs viewer isn’t your cup of tea; there’s also an offline mode that I use quite a bit. All this is genuinely useful for working with Office files. But incredibly, the files are deleted as soon as you exit them. And if there’s any way of moving a downloaded file from Docs to a “normal” folder or app in my phone, I haven’t discovered it.

      This may not matter much for Office since the files are small, but after spending 10 minutes on Wifi waiting for a movie to download, and accidentally hitting the Home button, you’ll go mad. If my Docs/Drive could really be a central warehouse for all of my devices, it would *the* killer app.

      I also have a ton of videos on Docs, including several personal ones. Want to post some to Youtube? You guessed it: go to Docs, download again, yadda yadda yadda.

      And don’t get me started on Google Music. I already use Spotify Premium, but I have several hundred tracks that will never be licensed (videogames OSTs, Youtube mp3s and such), so I saw the potential in a ubiquitous service that let you stream anything from anywhere. Even if it isn’t available in my country, but I was interested. And of course my tracks are already backed up in Docs (they sit also in the desktop because Spotify needs them there to play as local files). But incredibly, Music ignores people’s previous uploads to Docs and forces them to re-upload everything. Again.

      “I now have storage at (deep breath) Amazon, Dropbox, Apple, Amazon, Google Docs, my old university, and in Gmail.”

      You nailed it. Your stuff is all over the place because none of these services is cheap enough and versatile enough. All these offerings come short, so it’s a massive opportunity for Google – create something that really lets people upload their lives and doesn’t force them to download again."

  8. 25 GB would be enough. 5 GB is too small amount of data.

  9. Well, you could just upgrade! $5 a year for 20GB extra... it's a "ridiculous" amont of money. Nothing compared to what Dropbox charges.

  10. Even Amazon Cloud Drive provides 5 GB of space
    Google must come up with at least 20-25 GB

  11. Why don't they just acquire dropbox - I'm sure they can afford it