Ditch Your Laptop For Your Phone (Part 3)

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Create, share and collaborate in real-time on Google Drive files and folders

The menu icon offers a selection of options including the option to create new documents and modify settings. The Settings panel allows users to modify the cache size, choose encryption for documents and includes a link to buy more storage

Google Drive

its Google Drive apps has been updated for Android, iPhone and iPad. Google Drive is one place where you can create, share and keep all your stuff.

Shared with me

This section lists all the files and folders that other Google Drive users have decided to share. Other Google Drive users can share a variety of files (documents, spreadsheets etc) with other users by sharing via an email address

My Drive

My Drive is the connection to the cloud storage where all files and folders are kept. My Drive will alphabetically list all the folders and files stored in the Drive. Tapping a file will automatically open the file in its default program


This section is effectively a favourites section. Files and folders are assigned a star which is inactive by default. Users can activate a star with a single tap for their favourite files and folders. All starred files and folders appear under the Starred section

All files and folders from Google Docs are instantly transferred to the Google Drive service, ready for use. This gives users 5GB of free storage, a web-based office suite and allows users to create, collaborate and share files and folders.

The Android app syncs with the desktop service and currently allows users to create new documents and spreadsheets. There is no presentation option as yet.

The beauty of Google Drive, apart from the free storage, is the ability to interact with other web- connected devices. The app replicates the desktop experience via My Drive. This stores all your files and folders in an account and stores them alphabetically. It is from here that Google Drive users can create a new document or spreadsheet, preview the current file and edit existing files.

To take the service to the next level users can share files and folders via email, Dropbox, Drive and Bluetooth. Alternatively, a link can be shared with other users. The final piece in the Google Drive jigsaw is the ability to collaborate in real-time. Users add collaborators via email allowing them to start working on the same document from any device or location.

1.    Get Google Drive

Google Drive is the home of Google Docs and the service can be accessed via any desktop. To get access to a Google Drive account from an Android device, users need to download the associated app. Head to the Play store, search for Google Drive and install.

2.    New document

The Android app operates very much like its desktop counterpart and allows users to create documents. Click the menu icon in the top-right comer and select Create new. Now choose the type of document to create (a presentation option is not currently available).

New document

3.    Add content

If a text document is selected in the previous step a small blue icon will appear in the top-left corner. To edit the document, tap the pencil icon. Tap the screen and add text. The format options appear at the top of the screen, scroll left to view more options.

4.    Upload a file

Selecting New offers the option to Upload a file to Drive. Select the application where the desired file resides and choose a file and press OK. This will differ from application to application. Change the title, if needed, and click Conversion options to convert the file to a compatible format.

Upload a file

5.    View document details

The My Drive feature lists the documents stored in a users’ Google Drive account. To view more details, and open a file up, tap the arrow icon to the right. This will offer a straightforward preview of the selected document. Tap Open to load that document.

6.    Send document

Tap the menu icon (top-right) to reveal the Send option. Tap Send to choose a service to send the current document. Selecting Gmail will attach the file to an email. Selecting Dropbox will send the document to Dropbox and selecting Bluetooth will let you send to nearby devices.

7.    View offline

Google Drive Is a web-connected service, which means files are not available when a device is not connected. To make a file available offline, tap the Available offline checkbox. Now the file will have offline attached to its title and be available on the current device when disconnected.

View offline

8.    Share

Open a file, tap the menu open and select Share. This will open the Add collaborators screen. From here, tap and add the email address of the recipient you want to share with and tap Add. Now select the document sharing option, either Can edit or Can view and hit OK.

9.    Collaborate

Sharing a document will send a link to the recipient. They need to click the link included In the email and log in to Google Docs. Changes can now be made on your desktop or in the app, with updates shown in real-time, plus the name of the collaborator working on the document.

Master the JB keyboard

Get to know the stock keyboard and make typing that little bit easier

The rise of the stock keyboard on Android devices has certainly been surprising, and with the latest OS update. Jelly Bean, in full effect, the latest stock keyboard offering is the best so far.

The keyboard in effect is virtually the same as previous offerings, but has been refined to make it that little bit better. There are also a couple of features included that weren't in the Ice Cream Sandwich version.

There are plenty of keyboard alternatives on the Play store, with Swype and SwiftKey two of the best choices. However, once you get used to the stock keyboard, and uncover all its features, you won't need to look elsewhere for your typing needs. Follow this tutorial as we guide you through the stock keyboard, and show you some of its best features along the way.


Incorrect words have a red line underneath them to highlight that the keyboard doesn’t recognise the word. Pressing on the word will bring up a list of words that Android predicts you’re trying to spell. Long press on the word to save it to your dictionary

Caps Lock

There are plenty of quick shortcuts that the stock keyboard can do, and one of the best ones is the Caps Lock feature. Pressing on the Shift button once will let you type an individual capital letter, before resorting back to lower case. However, a quick double-press will leave you in Caps Lock mode

Predictive help

As you type, you’ll find a bar just above the keyboard where predictive text appears. This offers a quick way of typing out long words, and is a greatly improved offering from the Ice Cream Sandwich version. To replace the word you are typing with the predictive one, simply press on it

Voice dictation

If texting isn’t your thing, then why not give voice dictation a whirl. This option can be found via the microphone symbol at the bottom, and although it isn’t perfect, it sure beats typing out long texts. You can download additional apps from the Play store to help improve your phone’s voice recognition, too

Quick access

Numbers and emoticons are a lot easier to access with the newest version of the stock keyboard. Where before you had to scroll through a few pages to find certain punctuation marks and emoticons, everything you need can now be found in a matter of seconds.

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