Share and collaborate in the Google Drive Android app

This article describes the latest version of the Drive app for Android. To get the latest version, download an update from the Play Store.

You can share any file or Google document with others right from the Google Drive app on your Android phone or tablet. You can even collaborate on a Google document in real time and create, reply to, or resolve comments that other collaborators have left in the Google document.

Share an item

Here's how to share an item from your Android phone or tablet:

  1. If you're viewing your Drive list, touch the gray arrow next to an item's name to open its preview pane. Or, if you're viewing or editing a file, touch the gray i icon.
  2. Touch Add a collaborator in the preview pane itself, or tap the button at the top of your device screen.
  3. Add a new collaborator from your contacts or by typing his or her email address. Then, tap Add and select permissions for your new collaborator from the next menu.
  4. You can also tap an existing collaborator's name to adjust his or her permissions for files that you own or have the rights to share.
  5. Touch OK, and your settings will be saved.

Real-time collaboration

The Drive app’s Google documents editor lets you work with other people on the same document in real time, even if some people are using the desktop version and some are using the mobile app. If your collaborators are editing a document, you’ll see a note that they’re working on the document, as well as an indicator for their cursor.

Your document will automatically refresh as your collaborator makes changes, but you can also press the Refresh button in the menu bar. Bandwidth usage is different over 3G and WiFi, so changes made by your collaborators will be delayed by a few seconds on 3G in order to conserve usage.

Editing documents in the Google Drive Android app requires ongoing syncs to update your documents, which can increase your bandwidth usage. Keep this in mind if you have a limited data plan with your mobile provider.

Working with comments in Google documents

The Drive app lets you read and respond to comments in Google documents.

  • To view and reply to comments, tap the Comment button in the top-right corner of your screen.
    • Tap each comment individually to see the text it is attached to.
    • Long-touch a comment to edit or delete it.
    • Use the Menu button in the top-right corner of your screen to resolve a comment.
    • Swipe right and left to move between comments.
    • Tap the X in the top right of the comments list to close this view and return to the rest of your document.
  • To add a new comment for specific text, highlight the text and tap the Comment button in the gray hover menu.
  • To add a new comment pertaining to the entire document, tap the Comment button in the top right corner of your screen.
The Drive app doesn’t currently support viewing and editing comments in Google spreadsheets or Google presentations.

Send a link

You can send a link to a specific item from the Drive app. Users who have viewing or editing rights will be able to open the item by clicking the link, much like if you copy and paste the item's URL from your desktop browser.

Sending a link does not change the item's collaboration settings. As a result, anyone who doesn't have permission to view or edit the item will need to request access before they can open the Google Doc or file from the link you send.

The option to send a link isn't currently available for Google Drive folders.