Synology Drive is one of the most important packages in Synology's portfolio, so the upcoming 3.5 version and its focus on the mobile client side show their commitment to bringing more new features and elevating the user experience.

With an update on the DSM Synology Drive Server side, as well as the client, here are the new upcoming changes that are currently in the beta stream. The client-side version of Drive is already live, but to utilize it we need to update the Drive server component that is at the moment, still available only via the beta stream inside the Package Center.

What’s New

Jan 23, 2024 

Version 3.5.0

Compatibility & Installation:

1. Please update the server to Synology Drive Server 3.5.0 to use the new mobile features.

What's New:

1. Supports sending push notifications for changes in permissions or user comments on Synology Office files.

2. Supports the conversion of files from various Microsoft Office formats, including .xlsx, .xlsm, .xltx, .xltm, .csv, .xls, .xlt, .ods, .ots, .docx, .odt, .rtf, .doc, to Synology Office format.

3. Supports previewing files in OpenDocument Format (.odt, .ods, .odp) via Universal Viewer.

4. Added speech recognition for easy transcription of uploaded audio content into text. Note that long audio files are more likely to experience recognition failure.

5. Supports displaying recently shared invitees when sharing files.

6. Supports categorizing photos by "year" when backing up photos.

7. Supports retaining the last viewed sub-tab when switching tabs or relaunching the app.

8. Supports setting independent sorting rules and display preferences for each folder.

9. Supports configuring passcode lock and re-authentication time in the Synology Drive app. These are security features for Synology Drive folders in the iOS Files app.

Fixed Issues:

1. Fixed an issue where Synology Drive folders in the iOS Files app could not be opened in offline mode.

2. Fixed an issue where Focused Backup and Sync might not run properly when there are too many sync tasks.

These release notes for the mobile version of Synology Drive offer several fixes but also almost a dozen new features including push notifications, and file conversion from MS Office formats to Synology Office format.

Synology Drive Server version 3.5 inside the Package Center beta stream

While both the desktop and mobile versions of the Drive client will preview the listed file formats there were some issues with 1MB or larger ODS files on the mobile Drive app. A smaller size file was accessed with no issues, so this might be a beta issue for the time being.

iOS Drive client 3.5 version - previewing the file is possible as well as keeping tabs on the background conversions
ODT file preview, conversion, and Synology Document after conversion

The conversion using the mobile client works with no issue at all and comparing the original format with the compatible Synology Office format shows no formatting issues at all.

The change in size is on the other hand noticeable depending on the format. For example, a 3KB ODS file will turn into an 800KB Synology Spreadsheet, while a 1MB ODT file will become a 1.5 MB Synology Document.

XLSX file will also grow almost five times in size from about 200 KB to 900 KB. Not that those file sizes are extremely large but just something to keep note of.

Once the file has been converted to Synology Office format and shared with other DSM users, permission changes as well as comments will be sent to the mobile device via push protocol.

Push notifications are being sent by the Drive client based on the new comment

Taping on the notification will launch the user inside the Drive app and into the file that was commented on.

These are the top changes in this release of Drive 3.5 client that will as stated in the notes require the update of the Synology Drive server to the compatible 3.5 version as well. A nice little bump from Synology in bringing new features to their very popular productivity package.