Google Drive Updated to Play Friendly With Apple’s Files App

Google Drive no longer hijacks file opening duties in Apple's Files and iCloud Drive apps on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.


The app was updated today with a fix for the issue. Microsoft Word documents and other file types can now be viewed directly in in Apple's Files and iCloud Drive apps on iOS 11 and iOS 10 respectively.

Since a previous update to Google Drive earlier this month, the app became the default opener for many file types due to an open-in-place issue.


When users with the Google Drive app installed attempted to open a DOCX file in Files or iCloud Drive, for example, the Google Drive app would automatically open and prompt the user to save the file in that app.

Google Drive version 4.2017.37510 is available on the App Store [Direct Link].


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Google Drive Issue Preventing Word Documents From Being Opened in Apple’s Files App

Since the Google Drive app for iOS was updated earlier this month, several iPhone and iPad users have been unable to open Microsoft Word documents in Apple's Files app for iOS 11 or iCloud Drive app for iOS 10.


Instead, when users with the Google Drive app installed attempt to open a DOCX file in the Files or iCloud Drive apps, the Google Drive app automatically opens and displays a prompt to save the file there.

MacRumors has been able to duplicate the issue, which is likely a Google Drive problem rather than a Files or iCloud Drive one.

The only solution to the problem for now appears to be uninstalling the Google Drive app. Google has yet to comment on the matter, but it will presumably have to release another update to the Google Drive app to fix this issue.


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How to Use the New Files App in iOS 11

The new Files app in iOS 11 replaces iCloud Drive, offers a lot more functionality than its predecessor, and provides perhaps the best argument yet for using an iPad as your go-to mobile computer.

In Files, you have access not only to the files stored on your device and in iCloud, but also to those stored in third-party services that support integration with the app. Files also exploits all of the new multitasking gestures in iOS 11, making its file organization capabilities even more powerful.

The Files Interface


The Files app interface is very straightforward, although it varies from device to device and based on orientation, with various combinations using multiple columns, single columns with pages, or pop-overs. For the purposes of this overview, we'll look at using an iPad in landscape orientation, the most common setup for those doing productivity work.

Down the left side of the screen, in the Browse column, are links to your file sources, Favorites, and Tags to view files that are tagged with a particular color.


Over in the main window you'll see the files and folders in the selected location, which you can view by name, date, size, or tags. There's a button on the right of these options that you can tap to switch between list and icon view, while the button on the left lets you create a new folder.

At the bottom of the screen are two buttons to switch between the default Browse view and a Recents view, which is useful for returning to the files you were last working with.


In either view, you can open a file in the main window simply by tapping it, or you can perform a long press on a file or folder to access a range of options, including rename, share, tag, favorite, and more. However, the best thing about the Files app is that you can organize multiple files quickly and easily by utilizing the new drag-and-drop features exclusive to iOS 11.

Moving Files With Drag and Drop




  1. Tap and hold a file you want to move, and it will expand slightly, ready to follow your finger around the screen.

  2. To move additional files, tap them while holding the original file and they will stack up underneath your finger.

  3. Keeping the same finger on the screen, use another finger – preferably one on your other hand – to browse the Files interface and locate a destination folder for the selected files.

  4. With the destination folder open, simply lift your finger from the screen to drop the files inside.

There's nothing to stop you from using iOS 11 drag-and-drop gestures to take files out of the Files app and move them into other iOS apps, as long as the app in question supports the file type. You might drag an image file into the Photos app to add it to your Photos Library, for example.

Organizing Your Files Manually


If you're uncomfortable using drag-and-drop gestures, you can organize your files using more traditional touch controls. Here's how.


  1. Navigate to the folder containing the files you want to work with, and tap the Select button at the top-right of the screen.

  2. The Browse column will dim to put the focus on the currently selected folder. From here, you can tap one or more files to add a check mark against them indicating they've been selected for an action. A list of possible actions will appear along the bottom of the screen, including the option to duplicate or delete the file(s).

  3. Tap "Share" to bring up the iOS Share sheet, where you can send the file(s) to other people or apps, as well as access copy, print, and other actions.

  4. Tap the "Move" option and the Files app will present you with a directory tree, allowing you to navigate to the desired location for the file or files you've selected.

Tagging Documents


Using tags in the new Files app will help you locate particular files more easily, and they work much the same as tags do in macOS. As you'd expect, tapping a colored tag in the Browse column shows you all the files you've assigned that particular tag. To tag a file or folder, simply tap and hold it, and then drag it onto a tag in the sidebar.


Linking Third-Party Storage Services


If you install a third-party storage app on your iOS device, it should automatically appear in the Files app under the Locations list. If the service doesn't appear, then it doesn't yet support Files integration. Services that do support Files app integration include Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Transmit, with more to come soon.

Related Roundup: iOS 11
Tag: Files

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Placeholder for iOS 11 ‘Files’ App Goes Live on App Store

With just hours to go until Apple's WWDC keynote, a new placeholder app listing for a "Files" app has appeared on the iOS App Store for iPhone and iPad, as noticed by Steven Troughton-Smith.


Details on the app are scant, as the app description is merely "Files App for iOS" and there are no other details on the app other than an icon depicting a blue folder, although Troughton-Smith points out the app only supports 64-bit architectures. iOS 11 has been rumored to be dropping support for 32-bit apps, and Apple has been warning users about apps that have not been updated with 64-bit support.

As we noted in our iOS 11 wishlist feature, file management is one area where MacRumors readers have been hoping to see improvement, and this upcoming Files app could help provide that.

The Files app is undoubtedly a default system app for iOS 11, but system apps that can be deleted have App Store entries to allow users to reinstall them. As Troughton-Smith notes, a listing for the Activity app has also appeared in the App Store, suggesting users will be able to delete the app in iOS 11, something that is not currently possible.

Update 11:48 PM: Apple appears to have pulled the Files and Activity listings from the App Store.

Related Roundups: WWDC 2017, iOS 11
Tag: Files

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