More Google app updates you don’t want to miss

google-play-logo

Over the past week, more Google Android apps have gotten some pretty big updates that you definitely should know about. Some of you might simply set your Play Store to update everything automatically, so you don’t keep track of what’s new and what’s not. Others don’t like anything to update without their permission, and tend to accumulate lots of updates all at once. No matter which camp you fall into, here’s what you need to know.

Google Drive

The latest Google Drive update brings us a new quick action bar for faster creating, scanning and uploading. It appears automatically when you need it, and disappears when scrolling through your files. Google Drive also now lets you Swipe to refresh and provides improved upload reliability – a much needed feature, since about 25% of my uploads seem to fail through the app.

There are also improvements in Spreadsheets, too, including customizable number formats and the ability to freeze and unfreeze rows and columns.  As always, there are additional unnamed “bug fixes and visual improvements.”

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Download: Google Play

QuickOffice

Speaking of Google Drive, did you hear that QuickOffice is now free? And that Google is giving away 10GB of free Drive storage for two years to anyone who downloads the new app and signs in?

While Google Drive is the go-to app to edit all files in that are saved in Google’s proprietary formats, QuickOffice is the app to edit all Microsoft Office files. The new version of the app now works on both phones and tablets (there’s no separate “HD” version anymore), and also includes a fancy new icon to boot. This is definitely something you’ll want on your device right away.

Quickoffice-qrc

Download: Google Play

Google Wallet

This update is huge – like, really huge. Starting now, Google Wallet is available on any Android phone running Gingerbread or higher on any carrier. Before you get too excited, Wallet only supports NFC payments on certain phones, as long as the carriers approve – so that part hasn’t changed. The significant story here is that Google hasn’t abandoned the app, like so many have feared, and is still pouring resources into Wallet.

Here are some new features that are now available to everyone, regardless of NFC capabilities:

  • The ability to send money to anyone using Google Wallet, from a linked bank account or through a credit card (fees apply when pulling cash from your credit card, but it’s free when you use your Google Wallet balance or a bank account).
  • More rewards cards have been added to Google Wallet, which means you can now safely ditch the physical cards if you wish.
  • All of the offers you’ve redeemed using Google Offers, Google+, Google Maps, or Google Search are now visible in your Google Wallet.
  • There’s a completely redesigned UI, too.

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Download: Google Play

Google Earth

While not as significant as some of these other updates, Google Earth also received an update that allows users to view their geocoded Google+ photos in Google Earth, depending on each photo’s privacy settings. This will make for a lot of interesting photos from all over the place, so you’ll definitely want to make sure you get the update.

Google Earth qrc

Download: Google Play

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.