Google Drive on Android adds audio playback speed and notification controls
Google Drive has become a key part of Google’s ecosystem of services. Every Google account gets 15 GB of free storage for hosting whatever you want on the cloud, and that quota applies for other Google services like Google Photos. Drive also does a great job at sharing your files with friends and family, but in the case of listening to audio files, you’re given only rudimentary controls for listening to files stored on the platform without having to download them to your phone.
Now, Google Drive is getting better audio controls that are a bit more functional (via Android Police). Perhaps the most upgrade is the addition of notification controls. Most other apps with audio playback features give you playback controls in your notifications panel, including music players, but Google Drive lacked this feature. With the latest update, you’re given buttons to play and pause whatever you’re listening to from your notification shade. This is useful if you need to switch to another app while you keep listening to something. You’re also getting audio playback speed controls with this update, which allow you to slow down or speed up whatever you’re listening to right from the app.
No one really uses Google Drive as their main audio playback app, and this update is not going to change that. But there are specific use cases where having these controls can be useful. If you’re listening to something like a lecture your classmate recorded and shared with you on Google Drive, being able to have notification controls or speed up/slow down what you’re listening to is a great improvement.
Although this seems like a server-side update (despite the patch notes in Google Play mentioning these two new features), you can grab the latest version of the Google Drive Android app from the Google Play Store right now. If the features are not showing up yet, it might be a while before the features roll out to you.