Google Drive could be on the road to becoming a major file sharing tool for people with Google accounts.
On the search front, Google is already offering Google Drive (along with Gmail) results on regular web search results pages. It’s in preview mode, but it’s an incredibly useful addition to the Google universe, and it needs to become available to all users, at least on an opt-in basis. It can save a great deal of time if you often refer to files from your Google Drive account or emails from your Gmail account. Combine that with Chrome, and it’s never been as easy to locate files as it is when you type in a few keywords into the omnibox.
Google is also teaching developers how to make searchable Google Drive files.
Yesterday, Google shared an animated GIF on Google+ in a post talking about searching the Help Center from Drive. Jérôme Flipo noticed something quite interesting in that file (somehow):
Cool, Gmail attachments will be accessible from Google Drive. You can see the shortcut above "Download Drive for Mac" in the .gif shared by.
Starting today, you can search the Help Center for answers to your questions or to report feedback — without ever having to leave what you’re working on in Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
To open the new Help experience in Drive, click the gear menu and select Help. To access it in Docs, Sheets, and Slides, click on the Help menu and select the first help option.
Click on one of the .gifs below for a preview.
Here you can see “Gmail Attachments” in the menu on the left-hand side:
Alex Chitu at Google Operating System picked up on his post, and notes, “It turns out that there are many references to Gmail attachments in Google Drive’s code, so this new feature is not yet enabled in the public version of Google Drive, but Google employees test it.”
“It’s likely that you’ll be able to manage Gmail attachments from Google Drive, find attachments and share them with other people,” Chitu adds. “Google Drive is already the central file repository for most Google services.”
A couple people commented on Chitu’s post saying that it’s not the central file repository for photos, music or YouTube uploads. However, that doesn’t mean that Google won’t work toward a more integrated system that combines all of this stuff. This does seem to be the general path Google is on, in terms of making its services work better with one another.
On the video front, interestingly enough, the Google Drive Android app got video streaming capabilities in a recent update. Additionally, Google announced a new file preview feature for Drive last week, which could also come in handy for locating and sharing files.
And since Google launched Google+, it has continued to try and improve the actual experience of sharing content on the web. Just this week, Google launched the new Google+ Sign-in.
Email attachments are essentially just another file sharing tool, and giving them easy access from Google Drive would only serve to make Drive a more useful file sharing tool itself. If nothing else, it would at least give Google users another option for locating and sharing files.