Google Drive, the much anticipated online storage offering has been released and includes unique search capabilities and convenient integration with other Google services such as Docs and Google+. Google Drive allows users to store information in a virtual “cloud” and is very similar to Microsoft’s SkyDrive, Apple’s iCloud and Dropbox.
Some consider Google Drive to just be a new and shiny version of Google Docs allowing users to store documents, images, videos and pictures all in one place. However, we do not believe that is a fair assessment as it definitely has new and unique features as we’ve outlined for you here:
- Impressive search function. Google Drive helps you find files faster as users are able to search for content by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Google Drive can even recognize objects in your images and text in scanned documents.
- Sync documents on mobile devices and allow changes to be tracked and saved easily. Essentially, any edits made from one device will automatically appear on the other. Additionally, because it records changes made users can go back 30 days and review what has been edited. This can be particularly helpful if trying to catch a past mistake in a class assignment or find a particular change made in a business project.
- Open over 30 file types right in your browser—including HD video, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, even if you don’t have the program installed on your computer.
- Eliminate send and receive errors from bulky email attachments. Send a link from Google Drive in Gmail and everyone has the same file, same version—automatically. Search for content by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more.
- Google Drive also has a social component. In addition to providing file storage space, the program makes it easier than ever before to share information with others. Whether it’s sharing a picture with friends or working on projects with colleagues, Google Drive connects all participants together, even if they’re using different devices.
Google Drive features 5GB free online storage and the ability to buy more storage such as 25GB for $2.50 per month up to a maximum 16TB for $800 per month. Similar to Dropbox, Google Drive installs a folder on your Mac or PC, then you just drag-and-drop files into the new folder and the contents automatically sync to the cloud, including other computers with Google Drive installed. Google Drive offers more free storage than the 2GB you get from Dropbox, but less than the free 7GB Microsoft offers with SkyDrive.
Google Drive provides some unique features that will help people store, collaborate and share information online. Most people should find it easy to use, affordable, and we anticipate a successful product launch as millions of Google and Android users quickly adopt Google Drive.
How has your experience been with Google Drive? Will you stop using your current online storage and collaboration providers?