Why does Google Drive look different? Meet the Google glow-up
Google is introducing a fresh UI for its biggest apps
Wondering why Google Drive looks different? The cloud storage app was given something of a glow-up recently when Google rolled out a new user interface across its online apps.
Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides have all received the makeover, which streamlines and simplifies their look, and makes their most used tools more convenient to find.
As Google originally revealed in a blog post, the redesign aligns with its new Material 3 design system – a design language that Google has slowly extended across its array of online apps to create a consistent user experience.
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Google app changes
🌟 Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides are changing
😮 Google has rolled out a new user interface for its productivity apps
✉ They now look similar to Gmail and feature a more streamlined design
📆 Expect the new design to appear on your machine by March 25
You might notice that the refreshed Google Drive and Docs bear a striking resemblance to the new Gmail interface that rolled out last year. They now sport a light blue color scheme and chunkier taskbars and panels.
Big changes have also been made to the appearance of comments, rulers and gridlines, and some features have been relocated to reduce clutter or compiled into a single button rather than spread around.
The functionality of the apps remains the same and has in some areas been expanded. In Google Drive, it’s now easier to perform batch changes on files and locate specific documents using new search chips (like searching by document type, owner and modified date), and it’s simpler to copy and open files – you can paste Drive links directly into a Google Doc using the standard clipboard commands, and open up a file in a new window by pressing CTRL + Enter.
The new UI interface is gradually rolling out across the globe and should hit everyone’s accounts by March 25. It’s not possible to revert back to the original user interface.
I’m a fan of the new changes. Although it can be difficult to get used to a new UI, especially for an app you use so often that its layout is imprinted on your eyelids, the edits Google has made here seem to have been designed with speed and neatness in mind. Plus, with the changes that came to Gmail a while back, it was only a matter of time before similar user interface alterations hit Google’s other apps.
It’s also good to see Google roll out an update for its core services that doesn’t clumsily bundle in some kind of artificial intelligence add-on. After Google announced it was working on an AI search engine and Microsoft revealed the new AI tech it's bringing to Teams, it seemed likely Google would try to match introduce artificial intelligence to its productivity tools, too.
For now, I’ll take a solid UI update over an ill-thought AI update any day.
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