Google today rolled out new Google Drive features in Gmail, as well as updated Android and iOS apps. Gmail attachment support is live now, while the Android update is rolling out on Google Play “over the next week or so” and the iOS app is available now on Apple’s App Store.

First up, you can now share Google Drive files through Gmail as attachments, as opposed to links. When you select the “Insert as Attachment” option from Google Drive, you can attach non-Google files directly to your Gmail message.

In other words, you no longer have to worry about accidentally removing a person’s access to a file. If you delete a file from Google Drive, the people you shared it with will still have a copy.

Insert from Drive

Next up, the Google app on Android has gained voice search for Google Drive. All you have to do is say “OK, Google — search for [file name] on Drive” and you’ll get your file without opening the app and typing in keywords.

It’s worth noting that the Google Drive app on Android already has voice search. However, getting to that function requires opening the app, tapping the search icon, and then hitting the microphone icon. If you do all your voice searching from the Google app, this new feature should be a sweet addition.

The iOS app meanwhile now lets you upload content to your Google Drive from other apps, although only on iOS 8. Google is perfectly fine with you using an iOS device, but it still wants you to store all your files in its cloud.

Finally, both the Android and iOS apps now let you access and share custom maps you create with Google My Maps. This isn’t huge, but it just further emphasizes how badly Google wants to keep integrating all its services together.

Update: Google Drive has also gained support for importing all three major ODF (Open) file formats: .odt files for documents, .ods for spreadsheets, and .odp for presentations.


Other Office-friendly improvements include support for complex SmartArt from older Powerpoint presentations, merged cells in Word, and slide numbers in Powerpoint.