Google today announced new features coming to its Google Drive apps for Android and iOS. Some are available today while others will be trickling out “in the coming week or so.” You can download the latest versions now directly from Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
First up, Android and iOS users will now start getting mobile notifications whenever a file or folder is shared with them (in short, this means you no longer have to frantically refresh your inbox for that file sharing email). The same goes for when someone requests access to a file you own — a single tap will let you grant or deny them permission.
Speaking of which, Android users will soon be able to request access to files with a single tap. That means if you try opening a file that has not been shared with you, there is something you can do right in the app (no more trying to find a computer and request permission from Google Drive on the Web).
This is particularly useful given that Google Drive lets you share links to files and folders via other apps. Because Google Drive doesn’t do the actual sharing, it can’t grant access, and so the person you’re sending it to may simply not have permission. On both Android and iOS, file owners will be notified of the request instantly and be able to quickly grant access.
Last but not least, a Google Account is no longer required to view shared files on your Android device. Now, you can open files without an account, just like you can on the Web.
Google didn’t say when access requests and the no-account-needed features would arrive on iOS, but we’d wager it won’t be long. We’ve asked the company for more details and will update you if we hear back.