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Google Drive could add a smart new way to keep your files organized

 Google Drive Android app.
Google Drive Android app.

Finding your way around your Google Drive files could be about to get a lot easier: there's evidence that you'll soon be able to categorize your files into different groups, like banking and work, to keep them better organized.

This is according to hidden code spotted in the Google Drive app by TheSpAndroid (via Android Police). Apps often lay the coding groundwork for future features, before those features go live and are announced to users.

As per the app, the categories you'll be able to make use of are Auto, Banking, Expenses, Home, IDs, Insurance, Medical, Pets, School, Taxes, Travel, and Work. From this leak, it doesn't seem as though custom labels will be allowed, but those 12 categories cover the business of modern life pretty well.

As Android Police points out, these categories are similar to the labeling system that companies can use in Google Workspace. However, this should be available to individual users too, across Android, iOS, and the web.

How it'll work

Google Drive category feature leak
Google Drive category feature leak

Here's how it's going to work: From the Home tab in the Android app, you'll be able to tap the three dots next to a file, then choose from the categories list. A file can be in multiple categories, potentially making the feature more useful than the current folders system.

We don't get any indication here about when the switch might be flipped to give users access to file categories: the report on TheSpAndroid says "it won't come very soon", so presumably there's still work to do before it's ready for the public.

Given Google's recent and very committed push into artificial intelligence features, it's possible that some kind of AI processing might be involved as well, in categorizing files for you (or at least suggesting categories based on a file name or its contents). Suggested categories do appear in the screens produced by the hidden code.

We now know that Google I/O 2024 is getting underway on May 14 this year, so in between all the Android 15 and Pixel 8a news we might get an announcement or two regarding new Google Drive features – and of course we'll bring you all the news from the event.

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