New Privacy Screen feature for Google Drive on iOS and iPadOS

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Google today rolled out the new Privacy Screen feature for Google Drive on iOS and iPadOS, which allows you to require Face ID or Touch ID authentication whenever anyone tries to open the app on your device. That way, your important work documents or sensitive personal files will be kept away from snooping eyes.

You can choose to have Privacy Screen activate immediately as soon as you switch to another app — the Face ID or Touch ID screen will pop when you return to Drive — or delay it for 10 seconds, one minute, or 10 minutes to make multitasking a little less annoying.

Privacy Screen isn’t completely foolproof. On the settings screen where you enable it, Google warns that it might not protect your Drive notifications, “certain” Siri functionality, files shared with the Files app, photos shared with the Photos app, and “other system functionality.”

Google first announced the feature last month, according to Digital Trends, but it’s showing up as part of today’s app update notes on my iPhone, so it should now be widely available. The Google Drive app offered passcode protection several years ago, but the feature was eventually pulled, so it’s nice to see the extra measure of security added back to an app that many people use daily.

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