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This article was published on October 21, 2020

You can now grant access to Google Drive files directly from Gmail

The update I never knew I needed

You can now grant access to Google Drive files directly from Gmail

Google absolutely fucked it when it changed its files sharing menu. But it appears the company’s making amends: by letting you change Google Drive files directly from Gmail.

Are you sitting comfortably? Your body relaxed? Mind untethered? Terrific. Then let’s remember what that used to be like.

You’d share a Google Sheets link — maybe it was for work, maybe it was personal, I’ll leave that detail to you. You could bask in the knowledge all your hard work would be seen. You sit back, content and brimming with satisfaction. Maybe you go out for a walk. Pop to the cinema. Go hurl stones at cars.

Then, just as you’re about to begin your break, an automated email arrives. “Request for access?” The fuck, Jane.

Unperturbed, you’ve faced harder challenges after all, you open the message, and find yourself face-to-face with a horrendous button:

Oh no.

“Ugh,” you say to the wind, “UGH.” On a good day you press the button and flick through a couple of settings before access is granted. Irritating, yes, but not infuriatingly so.

On a bad day though? On one of those days where — to quote Mr. William Frederick Durst — everything’s fucked? When every 50/50 decision falls the wrong way and you begin to believe in a higher power simply so you can hate Them?

One of those days? That’s when you click on the button and it opens the Google Drive file from a different account and you realize you’re logged out of the account you need and the login for that account is you password manager and you never bothered downloading the app and can only access it from your desktop and so you raise your fist to the heavens and curse Them once more for what They have done.

Well, you might have done that, but not any more. You can now grant access to Google Drive files directly from Gmail.

It looks like this:

Google shared this update here and confirmed you’ll be able to grant viewing, commenting, or editing rights right from Gmail. Furthermore, you’ll be able to change the permissions of Google Drive files on iOS, Android, and web versions of Gmail.

The company has already begun rolling this out and it should be enabled on your account by November 7.

This is beautiful design, the complete opposite of its new sharing menu inside Google Drive files. Instead, this Gmail update makes people’s lives easier. It’s intuitive. It’s clever. It’s a gorgeous example of intelligent UX.

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