Google Drive gains auto offline file saving, new collaboration tools

Google is on a tear Thursday with updates, now bringing new features to its Google Drive file locker. Most notably, the Mountain View-based company says files within Google Drive will automatically be synced to the cloud for offline access - nifty. 

This means you'll be able to acces Docs, Sheets, and Slides from an aircraft or your grandparents' house where there's no internet (we don't judge). To get automatic sync going, you'll have to download the "Offline Docs" app. Once offline, you'll only have to visit "drive.google.com" to begin creating and editing documents without any connection. 

Furthermore, Google separately announced the addition of profile pictures and one-click group chat for the Google Drive interface. The Google+ integration goes far, as now when you open a file in Drive, you’ll see the profile pictures of other viewers at the top instead of just their names. Drive will also display details about the viewer and the ability to add them to your circles on Google+, when you hover over their photos. 

Group chat in a document can also be initiated with just one click, thanks to the update. There is now a new chat button at the top right, and once clicked, a chat box will appear for easy communication between everyone viewing the file.

Google says the new features announced on Thursday will begin rolling out to users over the next day or two, so don't panic if you don't see them just yet.