New Sharing Tools Show Off Google Drive’s Ubiquitous Future
Google has added a new sharing feature to Google Drive — the company’s cloud storage service — that makes it easy to share your files with friends on Google+.
Now you can quickly share a file from Google Drive to Google+ and people in your Google+ circles will be able to open documents, play videos and view presentations right from your Google+ stream.
Google Drive is a key part of fulfilling the company’s vision for a cloud-centric computing future, but so far Drive remains on the periphery of most Google services. While the new Google+ sharing features may be a small change, it shows where Drive is headed — into all your Google services.
The new sharing features for Drive files are easy to use. When you click the “share” button next to a file in Google Drive (or right-click a file and select “share”) you’ll see a new Google+ icon alongside the familiar Twitter and Facebook options. Note that sharing a Drive file through Google+ will not change the sharing settings of that file. Your friends on Google+ will only be able to view or edit it if you’ve given them permission to do so in Google Drive. If you’d like anyone to be able to access the document, select the “public on the web” visibility option. The Google Drive documentation has full details on sharing.
Once your document is added to Google+ anyone with permission to do so will see thumbnails for your shared documents or music files, and there’s an inline player for videos and presentations.
The sharing features work the other way was well — you can paste a Google Drive URL into a Google+ post and anyone looking at the feed will see the same thumbnails and players.