Google over the next couple of days, will be rolling out a refresh to the documents list, aimed to make it easier to find, explore and share all your files stored 100% on the web. Also rolling out big improvements to their back-end systems to make your experience in the documents list faster and smoother.
First, Google added a number of filters in this refresh, making it easier to narrow your search by type, visibility state, and other criteria. Also added priority sorting as a option in all views. Priority sorting is like Gmail's Priority Inbox, in that Google look at a number of signals to put your most relevant files at the top of the list. And you can still use other sort orders like Last Modified Date or by Name.
This update will also improve the experience of exploring and browsing your files. Google added a preview panel on the right side to preview thumbnail, sharing settings and more at a glance. And if the file is a video, you can start playing it directly from the preview panel or from the recently announced video player.
To make it easier to view photos, you can now click on the magnifying glass on a photo to open a full screen slide-show viewer.
There is also a new view called Home. The contents of the Home view are controlled by you so that the content you access the most often is easier to get to. You can remove files from the Home view by right clicking the file and selecting Don't show in home to hide them. And when you need them, these files can always be found later by selecting All items or using search.
Also, Collections have replaced Folders in the left navigation bar. Collections are designed to combine the best features of labels and folders. A file can live in multiple collections, just like with Gmail labels. Collections can also be stored hierarchically, just like folders on your desktop. And of course, collections can be shared, just like you can share docs.
Along with the improved find-ability and browsing experience, Google streamlined the interface. For e.g., instead of using checkboxes to select multiple files, you can just use your Shift or Control (Cmd on Macs) keys.
Google Apps for Business customers who've the "Enable pre-release features" option selected in the control panel, and customers of all other editions will start seeing the new interface within a few days. Google Apps for Business customers without the "pre-release features" option selected won't see this improvement for a few more weeks