How to set up and use Google Drive on iPhone

By Daniil PiskunMay 1, 2024 13:08 PMTech
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How to use Google Drive on iPhone
How to use Google Drive on iPhone. Source: businessinsider.com

Google Drive is the primary choice of cloud storage for both Android and iPhone users thanks to its ease of use, reliability, and cross-platform compatibility. It's one of the most powerful productivity apps on the market today, regardless of whether you have an Android or iPhone. SSPDaily told more about it.

"However," the Android Police website writes, "there are some nuances. In particular, while Android Drive comes pre-installed on Android devices, iPhone users need to download the app from the Play Store." After installing it and logging in, everything looks the same. This is because Google Drive's interface and functions are the same regardless of the platform used.

If you're switching from Android to iOS, you'll feel right at home thanks to the familiar design. The search giant has done a great job of keeping up with the new iOS features.

Google Drive supports widgets on home and lock screens, Face ID protection, and much more. Let's find out what it looks like in practice.

Installing Google Drive on iPhone

Google Drive can be downloaded from the App Store (there is also an iPad app).

Here's how to do it:

  • Open the App Store on your iPhone.
  • Find Google Drive and install the app.
  • Open Google Drive and sign in with your main Google account.
  • Everything you've uploaded to Google Drive will be there.

Turn on backup of photos and videos in Google Drive

You can enable media backup to Google Drive and upload photos and videos to the Google Photos platform.

  • Open Google Drive.
  • Click the hamburger menu in the upper left corner.
  • Go to the Settings section.
  • Select Backup.
  • Select Photos and videos.
  • Turn on the Back up to Google Photos switch.
  • Select the upload quality option. Choose High-quality to download files with excellent visual quality and reduced size, or Original to download media files at full resolution.

Original may take up more storage space if you regularly shoot 4K videos.

You can upload your device and iCloud contacts to Google Contacts and synchronize your calendar events with Google Calendar from the same menu. Google Drive starts downloading media in the background.

Connect your iPhone to a high-speed Wi-Fi network to ensure seamless background downloads.

Turn on Face ID authentication

Google doesn't offer biometric security for its Android apps, but iPhone users can protect their Google Drive using only their face.

Here's how to turn on Face ID security for Google Drive on iPhone:

  • Go to Google Drive settings on your iPhone.
  • Select Privacy.
  • Turn on the Privacy Screen toggle.
  • Select a time limit for Face ID authentication.

Use Google Drive files offline

If you plan to travel to places with limited network connectivity, make important Google Drive files available when you're offline. Give yourself time to download files to your phone, especially if you have a lot of them.

  • Open Google Drive and select a folder.
  • Tap the three-dot menu next to the file and select Make available offline.
  • A small checkmark under the file name confirms the offline access status.
  • Click the hamburger menu and select Offline to check all similar files in one place.

You can also mark and access the files you want from the Starred tab.

Add Google Drive widgets to your home screen

Google Drive offers several widgets that you can place on your home screen. Widgets allow you to quickly access files and search Google Drive from your iPhone's Home screen.

  • Tap and select an empty space on the Home screen.
  • After iPhone enters Jiggle mode, tap the + sign in the upper left corner to open the widgets menu.
  • Go to Google Drive.

You have two widgets to choose from - Medium or Large - that you can add to your Home screen.

How to add Google Drive widgets to your lock screen

You can install interactive Home screen widgets on any iPhone that supports iOS 17. Google Drive isn't one of the widgets you can interact with, but tapping the widget opens your Google Drive for quick access.

For even faster access, place the Google Drive widget on your lock screen alongside other Google apps like Chrome, Gmail, and Calendar.

To put the Google Drive widget on your iPhone's lock screen, follow these steps.

  • Press the side button to check the iPhone lock screen.
  • Long press to select Customize.
  • Select the lock screen.
  • Tap the widget area below the clock.
  • Go to Google Drive.
  • Add Google Drive's suggested files, search, and stars widgets to your lock screen.

If you use Google Drive extensively, install the widgets on your lock screen so you can access your files with a single tap.

Keep track of your Google Drive storage

Google no longer offers unlimited free media backup (with reduced quality) to Google Photos. With 15GB of free storage split between Gmail, Google Photos, and Drive files, it's not hard to fill up your Google Drive storage.

You can open Google Drive and check the storage breakdown in the hamburger menu. If you run out of storage, you can upgrade to one of the Google One plans.

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