Google has now expanded its native language support for Google Drive with another 18 languages to extend its online services to an even broader audience of home and business users.
That means that foreign language support for Drive is now available in 65 languages, according to a June 18 post by Ian Hill, project manager for the Google Localization unit, on The Google Drive Blog. That language support also extends to the Google Drive Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms apps that are available to users.
The 18 new supported languages are Afrikaans, Amharic, Basque, Chinese (Hong Kong), Estonian, French (Canada), Galician, Icelandic, Khmer, Lao, Malaysian, Nepali, Persian, Sinhalese, Spanish (Latin America), Swahili, Urdu and Zulu, wrote Hill.
"You can switch back and forth as often as you like, and many of these languages are also supported by Drive's spellchecker," he wrote. "Love to collaborate? No matter which Drive app you're using—you can work in real time in any language you choose while your fellow collaborators use another language."
Using Google Drive, users can store and access their files on the Web, via computer, on a smartphone or anywhere else.
To use the multilanguage support, users can click the gear icon in the upper right of the on-screen menu, then select Settings, wrote Hill. Next, under the General tab, users can select a language from the drop-down menu in the Language section. Click Save, and you are on your way to using multilanguage services in Drive.
In May, Google introduced a new Google Drive app for Android that is simpler to use. The revised app now displays Drive files in a clean, simple card style. Users can swipe between files to see large previews that let them quickly review and discover the information they are seeking. Users can now also keep some Drive files on their Android device by downloading a copy from the actions menu.
Also highlighting the new version is the ability to now keep track of important paper documents such as receipts, letters and billing statements. Users can click "Scan" from the Add New menu, snap a photo of their document, and Drive will turn the document into a PDF that's stored for safekeeping. Those documents are also now easier to find using Drive's Optical Character Recognition (OCR) that works with the scanned documents.
Also in May, Google announced that Drive users can combine all of the storage in their Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photo accounts inside one unified place, rather than having to maintain separate storage areas depending on what kinds of files were being stored.
That means that instead of having separate 10GB and 5GB storage areas for their files, users are now able to keep their data in one 15GB storage bin, simplifying file archiving and storage. The 15GB accounts will continue to be free. Storage can be expanded if desired, with 100GB accounts available for $4.99 a month and 200GB accounts for $9.99 a month.
Google also updated Drive in May by giving it a new chat capability, according to an earlier eWEEK story. Users of Google Drive's Docs and Slides capabilities can now have a chat session that is similar to the ones they have in Gmail. The feature is available to users of Google Apps for Business, Education and Government.
Google Drive was launched in April 2012 after six years of planning and talks about its intentions to introduce a cloud storage service. Last September, Google updated its Drive services for Android and iOS users to make it easier for them to modify documents on the go, see changes by others and view presentations.