Google Drive Rolls Out Mobile Notifications for Shared Files
Tech giant Google is always looking for chinks in Microsoft’s armor -- and it thinks it's found one on the document creation, storage and sharing front. Google Drive is adding new features to woo users from Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft OneDrive to Google Docs and Google Drive.
Amid the changes are security features, sharing notifications and file access invitations and previews. These new features are likely welcome additions to the Google ecosystem-using masses but Microsoft probably isn't biting its nails over the announcement.
“When you store your important files somewhere, you want to have peace of mind that they'll be safe and easy-to-access later,” said Alex Vogenthaler, group product manager at Google Drive. “That's why everything in Drive is always encrypted. And why we encourage all of our users to complete a simple security checkup every now and then. Of course, this should include file sharing as well -- it should be super easy to control who sees what.”
Eyeing the Improvements
Google is working to make those “should bes” a reality with several improvements, including sharing notifications.
“You may have noticed recently that it’s easier to select and share multiple files and folders on iOS and Android -- but checking your e-mail may not be the fastest way to find out when something’s been shared with you,” Vogenthaler said. Drive now sends mobile notifications to alert users just as soon as any files or folders are shared to their accounts. Users can then tap the screens of their smartphones to head straight to Drive.
Google is also working to overcome a common issue for users -- recipients who can’t open documents because the senders shared links before giving them access. The Drive for Android app avoids that by letting recipients click links to ask for access when they discover they can’t open the files. Both iOS and Android file owners will get alerted immediately so there is no delay in granting that access. In addition, users can view files shared on their Android devices even if they don’t have Google accounts.
Will Google Win?
We caught up with Greg Sterling, vice president of strategy and insight at the Local Search Association, to get his thoughts on these innovations. He told us making Google Drive and Google Docs more secure and more accessible to users outside the Google ecosystem will boost usage and acceptance of the products.
The question: Will business users migrate from Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft OneDrive? No, not right now, anyway, according to Sterling. But there is an X factor Google and Microsoft are most likely eyeing.
“None of these are major improvements,” Sterling said. “It's Google Drive's adoption by Millennial users that may ultimately have the greatest impact on its long-term adoption and position in the market vis-a-vis Office.”
Read more on: Google
, Google Drive
, Enterprise IT
, Mobile Apps
, Office 365
, Tech News
Posted: 2015-11-05 @ 2:13pm PT
Reformatting back to Word is usually too much effort when you use Drive to work on online documents collaboratively. It is also missing other functionality like messaging, and the ability to link a primary document to others for the purpose of the group work. Office 365 is pulling ahead for collaboration. Other than that, it generally works fairly well.