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Google today updated Google Drive with much better search functionality on Android, iOS, and the Web. You can download the latest mobile apps now directly from Google Play and Apple’s App Store, but be warned that the company said the these features are rolling out “in the coming weeks,” so you might not see them just yet.

Google Drive has had decent search for a while now — this is Google that we’re talking about, after all — but it’s been getting a bit better recently as related features roll out. But today the service is getting four improvements specifically for search, so you can finally find that goddamn file.


The four improvements are as follows:

  • Narrow your search to a file type from the search box on Android, iOS, and the Web.
  • Open advanced search instantly from the search box.
  • Access recent files or search Drive from the home screen using 3D Touch on iOS.
  • Search Drive using the iOS search bar without opening the Drive app.

I’m most excited about the first addition. Way too often I type in a word or two into Google Drive only to get back a bunch of useless results. I almost always know that the file in question is a document or a spreadsheet, so finally being able to filter out the other will be very helpful.

Google also mentions mysterious “behind-the-scenes improvements” that will give you even better results for certain search queries. To get more specific results, you can also search for shared files by file owner using their name or email address, as well as use advanced search options like the date a file was modified, words it contains, or who it was shared with.

It should surprise nobody that search would be Google Drive’s main differentiator, and it’s frankly about time Google is ramping that up.


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