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Google Drive adds new features you’ll love

Do you use Google Drive? It’s an excellent free way to share and edit files with your friends or co-workers. We find it extremely useful for document and project collaborations since every team member can have access to the shared files anytime and anywhere. Admittedly, watching someone edit a file in real time remotely still feels like magic each time.

If you’ve been holding off and haven’t used Google Drive yet or maybe your business is still skeptical about what it can do for you, then maybe this batch of fresh new updates will make hopping onto the Google Drive train less intimidating.

At its Cloud Next conference in San Francisco, Google just announced a bunch of new features for its popular cloud-based storage and sharing software Google Drive. It looks like these new changes aim to boost Drive’s appeal to businesses big and small but they can prove useful to the average end user as well.

Team Drives

First up is “Team Drives.” It’s a collaborative shared folder that employees can save files into. Although this is something that’s possible now, ownership and permission of the shared files can lead to sharing issues. Team Drives solves these problems by essentially making every “Team Drive member” a co-owner of the folder and its contents.

Google Vault for Drive

Another new feature is Google Vault for Drive, a set of tools that makes it easier for company administrators to archive, export and manage Drive data. This will be particularly useful for large amounts of data common for larger companies.

Drive File Stream

Making its debut is “Drive File Stream.” This is the one new exciting feature that may prove useful for the individual consumer. Basically, with “File Stream,” if you have the Google Drive software installed on your Mac or PC, your entire Drive will still show up as a local folder but not all the files will be downloaded. Instead, “File Stream” will intelligently predict which on-demand files you will need and pre-caches them. This is similar to Dropbox’s Smart Sync function and will ultimately save hard drive space for the end user.

Quick Access

Another feature that the average user will surely use is “Quick Access.” Previously available only to Android users, it is now expanding to iOS gadgets as well. A bit similar to “File Stream,” “Quick Access” will analyze your usage patterns across Google services and will try and predict the files that you’re looking for when you open Drive initially.

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