What’s New for Schools with the Latest Google Drive Update for iOS?

Google has updated its iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch version of Google Drive with a clean new interface and a few new features ahead of the impending introduction of the new iOS 7 operating system for Apple’s mobile devices. So, what’s new and what’s still to come? Let’s find out.

Google Drive iPad App Update

What’s new for educators?

Visually, users will notice an immediate change in the layout and feel of the new Google Drive app. It now mimics many of the features you find on the Android app and you can view your files and folders as a list or a grid. The details panel is all new, and includes an image preview of your file at the top. From this panel, you can now copy the link to any document so that you can paste it into another document, app or email. Finally, there is an update for Google Presentation files. You still cannot create or edit these files, but there is a new viewer complete with speaker notes, a slide sorter view, and a true full screen mode.

Google Drive for iOS

What teachers still need

We badly need  support for tables. Why has this taken so long? Android users have it, but iOS users can’t view or edit tables and this can be a major inconvenience. I’d also love to see more sharing options. Why can’t we share documents as “anyone with the link”? Better still, why can’t Google Apps for Education users have domain sharing options to share files with everyone in their organization? And what about Google Presentations or Google Forms? Can we expect to see those added any time soon?

Conclusion

Overall, I love the update. I like the cleaner look, the ability to copy links and the nice new viewer for Presentations, but Google Apps for Education users will continue to seek further updates to increase efficiency with Drive on the iPad in the classroom. Let’s hope that comes sooner, rather than later. In the meantime, be sure to check out my guide to a Paperless iPad Classroom with the Google Drive app. It has been updated to include screenshots from the latest version of the Drive app.

9 Replies to “What’s New for Schools with the Latest Google Drive Update for iOS?”

    1. Thanks Suzanne. Do you mean the Google Drive iPad app? I wrote one recently that goes over a lot of the basics as to how it can be used in the classroom for an iPad workflow. Maybe that will be of some use? You can see it here: https://docs.google.com/a/gwaea.org/document/d/1os1kSxo9kg14AjfpECsx_iOEt9WZuXQSSC1HNh7XyJ4/edit?usp=drive_web but I am going to need to update it with some more up to date screenshots. I will work on that soon.

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  1. I am in total agreement with your frustrations- the table editing and inability to set permissions is really preventing me from fully using gdocs on my ipad for the classroom.

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    1. Click your profile pic in the top left of the screen, or the three horizontal lines, then click the gear icon. The pop-up menu has your account you are logged in with listed at the top. Tap on the account, then look for the Manage button in the top right. Tap that, and you will see a Remove button. Tap that to log out.

      Let me know if that makes sense, otherwise I can do you a quick screencast 🙂

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