After years and years of false rumors, today Google has finally announced Google Drive.
Why is this so cool, you might ask. Well, so it happens that you get 5GB for free and you can get up to 100GB. Dropbox offers only 2GB for free. Is that enough to switch? Let’s see what Google has to say about the new service:
- Create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work with others in real-time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items.
- Store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). All your stuff is just… there. You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices.
- Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping. You can search for a word from the text of the actual article. We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up. This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time.
I just installed Drive on Mac, my Android tablet and my Android phone and everything is working REALLY smoothly. A PC version is already available, and Google says that the iOS version will be “coming soon.” You can download the app here and here.
I have been using Dropbox for a long time and I’ve been pretty happy. But it only gets you 2GB for free, the system is confusing for most people who move the file thinking that they are copying it, the notification system (when someone adds or removes an item) sucks and does not have OCR technology.
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Oh what to do, what to do. I’m planning to keep both, and dedicate Drive to documents shared by my team, and leave Dropbox for my music and personal files. That means 7GB of free Cloud awesomeness. Engadget put together this super handy chart.
On a related news, some friends are reporting that their Gmail storage was suddenly increased to 10GB. Unfortunately I have the same 8,271MB I’ve had for years.….I guess I’m not that special. Did you get a Gmail upgrade? How are you planning to use Google Drive ? Please put your comments below.
UPDATE: 0521 This week Sony plans to launch a 5GB, cloud-based, photo and video sharing service called PlayMemories Online. The service will be available only to Sony consumers within Japan, France, Germany, Canada, the U.K. and the United States.