As expected and rumored, Google has finally announced and launched its cloud-storage service Google Drive - a place, as Google calls it, where users can create, share, collaborate and keep all their stuff. Whether working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates, users can upload and access all their files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond. Google Drive allows to create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so users can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once chosen to share content with others, comments can be add and replied on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.).
Google Drive allows to store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). All stuff is just there, doesn't matter if accessed on the web, at home, at the office and from all of your devices. Google Drive can be installed on Mac or PC as well as a dedicated Android app is available for smartphones and tablets. Furthermore, an iOS Drive is in the works and expected to be released soon. Furthermore, and regardless of the platform, even blind users can access Drive with a screen reader!
Google Drive allows to 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. Google is also using image recognition so that if, for example, photos from Grand Canyon trip put into Drive, photos can be later searched for "Grand Canyon" and photos of this trip should pop up. However, Google admits, that this technology is still in its early stages and expects it to get better over time.
Google users can can get started with 5 GB of storage for free, according to Google that's enough to store high-res photos, scanned copies of letters or a career's worth of business proposals. However, users can also opt-in to upgrade to 25 GB for US$ 2.49/month, 100 GB for US$ 4.99/month or even 1 TB for US$ 49.99/month. As a further benefit, when upgrading to a paid account, the Gmail account storage will also expand to 25 GB.
And while we are talking about Gmail: To celebrate the launch of Google Drive, Google has also announced to increase the Gmail storage from 7.5 GB to 10 GB (and counting). According to Google, the increase will take effect over the next 24 hours.
Google Drive is built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience. It allows to attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+, and soon it will be possible to attach stuff from Drive directly to E-Mails in Gmail. Drive is also an open platform, so Google says it's working with many third-party developers which allows to do things like send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups directly from Drive. These apps are available from Google's Chrome Web Store
Cheers ~ Arne