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Google optimizing widgets for Android tablets, starting with Drive and Keep


Google is continuing its Android tablet push with widgets optimized for large screens. The first tablet widgets are coming from Google Drive and Keep.

The company says a “larger screen size deserves more spacious widgets.” Today, Google Drive’s Quick Actions widget lets you quickly open the app, search, upload, open the built-in camera, and start a new document. It’s available as either a strip or ‘x’/petal configuration.

On tablets, Quick Actions is adding a second row with shortcuts that directly open the Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets apps. This is intended to provide quicker access than the combined file/folder view.

Meanwhile, the Google Keep widget switches from a right rail to a bottom bar of sorts. Shortcuts to create a checklist, voice memo, drawing, and picture note appear at the very bottom, while a FAB (floating action button) is used for text. A scrollable list of notes is above it and this design is very similar to Gmail’s widget.

Google will continue “to optimize your favorite Google apps on tablets to make multi-tasking a breeze.” As of today, these Android tablet widget updates are not yet rolled out to Google Drive or Keep.

It follows a handful of updates for Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides in recent weeks that introduced drag and drop actions that work on text, images, and uploads.

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About the Author


Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: [email protected]

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