620x380-google-drive-the-digital-sock-masthead

After months of speculation Google Drive finally arrives…..

After what feels like one of the worst kept secrets in tech – Google finally confirms the existence of Google Drive. Will Google Drive reveal anything innovative? Or will it simply turn out to be just another cloud storage solution to sit along the likes of SkyDrive, iCloud and Dropbox.

Google Docs plus?

Google Drive is built right into Google Docs (or is that vice-versa?) so it allows you to work on documents collaboratively (what’s new?), get automatic updates when documents are edited etc. So nothing new right?

Free or Premium

Well, it does get more interesting. Firstly you are offered 5GB of storage for free – you can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB. It will be interesting to see how this translates into pounds sterling with no doubt the UK prices marked up somewhat! On current exchange rates 25GB should cost you £1.54 per month, however I very much doubt it will be that cheap when prices are converted.

I was unable to sign up for Google Drive when I tried so I can only presume it is being rolled out to the US first. I was however able to sign up for a notification when it is available for my Google account.

Features

The real strengths of any cloud storage solution is the ability to access your data from anywhere. With apps already announced for Android, PC and Mac’s – iOS devices are the obvious exclusion. Don’t fret though as an iOS app is in the works and until then you can access it via the browser.

Obviously being Google search will be an important part of Google Drive. You have the ability to search by keyword and filter by file type. In addition Drive can recognise text from scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. This technology is in its infancy so don’t expect it to be perfect but it can only get better.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wKJ9KzGQq0w]

Overall impression

So overall what do we think? Realistically there isn’t anything exceptional here or any features which makes it stand out from the crowd. Cloud storage is what it is, where companies can make a difference is integration – see Apple’s iCloud for someone who do this very well. I fear that the likes of Dropbox will be affected most by this – if you are tied in to either the Microsoft (SkyDrive) or Apple (iCloud) eco-system you are unlikely to be swayed by Google Drive, however Dropbox only offers 2GB for free and do not offer the seamless integration that Drive will. Only time will tell but I suspect that this will prove a success and as Android develops it will integrate itself further – it will be interesting to see what Samsung’s rumoured cloud storage solution will have to offer.

If you can, get started with Google Drive here.

To view the full Google release click here

Comments
One Response to “After months of speculation Google Drive finally arrives…..”
  1. Finally, after 5 years or so of development. I’m already switching over from Dropbox. Google docs integration is nice!

Leave A Comment


× eight = 40