Using Google Docs and Drive on Android tablets is about to get a whole lot better

Using Google Docs and Drive on Android tablets is about to get a whole lot better

tablet user

Image: Getty Images/Ezra Bailey

Ahead of Android 13’s tablet improvements, Google rolled out Workspace improvements for “larger Android screens.”

The options are limited when it comes to Android tablets, but there are a few like the Lenovo Yoga Tab and Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra that take on Apple’s iPad Pro.

Google could reverse the Android tablet shortage in 2022 after abandoning the Pixel Slate in 2019. Recent improvements came via Android 12L – the tablet and foldable version of Android 12 – and the upcoming Android 13, which is currently available. beta. Google revealed in May that it was making a Pixel Tablet, but it likely won’t launch until 2023.

Workspace updates bring improvements to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Keep that make sense on “bigger screen” Androids, including drag-and-drop functionality, keyboard shortcuts support, and side-by-side Drive windows.

“Earlier this year, Android introduced 12L, a software update that makes it easier to use devices with larger screens like tablets. At I/O, we shared plans to update more than 20 Google apps on tablets to take full advantage of the extra space.” on those bigger screens,” says Scott Blanksteen, senior director of product management for Android.

“To start, today we’re improving Google Workspace apps on larger Android screens with updates to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Keep.”

Android tablet users can now use drag-and-drop to multitask between Docs, Sheets, and Drive. Users can now drag and drop text or images from Chrome or Sheets into an existing Docs document or Sheets table cell, and vice versa.

Google Drive now allows users to upload files by dragging and dropping them into the app. Users can add links to files on Drive by dragging and dropping the file into an open application, such as Keep.

Drive on Android tablets now has two Drive windows side by side. The second instance helps users view the contents of folders before opening them.

To view Drive windows side-by-side, users can select the three-dot menu on any file on Drive > choose “Open in new window” > cycle through each Drive window independently.

According to Google, the updates will roll out to Workspace and users with personal Google accounts over the next few weeks.

Android 13 brings improvements for tablets from Android 12L, which introduced improved notifications, quick settings, lock screen, overview and home screen for tablets. The 12-liter main panel also allows users to display a split screen by dragging an app from the app library onto the screen.

Stylus improvements in Android 13 aim to reduce unwanted actions caused by users placing their hand on the screen.

Apple iPadOS has had Split-View alongside it for some time, but iPad iOS 16, currently in beta, introduces Stage Manager, which supports four different apps in resizable windows (rather than default or equal-sized windows).

According to Google’s Workspace blog, there is now keyboard support for Drive, Drag and Drop in Drive, and support for multiple instances of Drive. Keyboard support for Docs and Slides and Drag and Drop in Docs and Sheets will be available starting July 28.

In January, Google posted job openings to improve the “Android Tablet App Experience,” saying it believes the world is moving toward more powerful and capable tablets.


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