Over the past few months, we've been following reports of the immanent release of Google's new Cloud storage service, Google Drive. From today the service is officially open for business, with users able to sign-up for 5GB of free storage or subscribe for more space at a monthly fee.
As part of its basic offering, Google Drive integrates with Google Docs, allowing for collaboration on documents, spreadsheets and presentations, with full revision support. It's now also possible to add and reply to comments with other users over any shared file. Aside from web-browser access, Google Drive also has clients for PC, Mac and Android, with iOS apps to follow in the near future.
One feature that makes Google Drive stand out from the crowd, is its advanced file search capabilities. Aside from the powerful keyword search that is to be expected of Google, it is also possible to search for text in scanned documents thanks to Cloud-based OCR; it's even possible to drag-and-drop an image to have Drive search for the closet match. Google states that the tech is in the early stages and expects it to improve rapidly.
Over 30 file-formats will open natively in the Drive browser, amongst which are Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and HD video. Google is also working with third-party developers to bring apps that will enable users to perform tasks such as, sending faxes, edit videos and create website mock-ups directly from Drive.
No doubt our readers are interested in Google's costs for space, well here they are:
|Drive Storage||Gmail Sorage||Picasa Storage||Cost Per Month|
We've supplied prices in dollars as this is how they're charged. At current exchange rates, from 25GB to 1TB, prices work out at £1.55, £3.10, £6.20, £12.40 and £31.00 respectively. Google Docs file-types do NOT count towards storage consumption in Drive.
Setting aside free storage for recommendations and affiliates, prices come in significantly lower than popular alternative, DropBox, which charges $19.99 per month for 100GB. Microsoft has been a little sneaky and appears to have waited for early indications of Google's pricing in an attempt to undercut the firm, which it does successfully, charging $4.17 per month for 100GB and, more competitively, $2.08 per month for 50GB; however the firm requires a yearly subscription and currently does not offer storage beyond 100GB.
Will you be signing up for Google Drive?