Google Drive cloud storage will work closely with other Google products
Google has finally revealed its cloud storage system Google Drive, which offers 5GB of free storage and integration with other Google applications.
The long-anticipated service will allow users to store up to 30 file types, which can be accessed on a variety of web-connected devices.
“Today, we’re introducing Google Drive—a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff,” wrote Sundar Pichal, senior vice president, Chrome and Apps at Google. “Whether you’re working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive. You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond.”
Google Drive can be installed on a PC or Mac, while for mobile devices there is currently only an Android app available, but an iOS app is apparently in the works.
Close integration with Google Docs is promised, with users able to work real-time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Photos and videos can be instantly shared with Google’s social network Google+, while Gmail users can simply link to a file in Drive rather than attach a file to an email.
Thirty file types are recognised, even if the programme isn’t installed on your computer and these can be shared with other users, who can then add or reply to comments on any file, even a video. Google Drive also tracks every change made, meaning that you can look back up to 30 days automatically.
All this content can be searched by keyword, owner and file type, with image recognition software able to recognise objects so that they can be indexed. Optical Character Recognition technology has also been employed so that even scanned items such as newspaper cuttings can be searched.
Google has said that Drive will be an open platform, inviting third-party developers to create applications for the service.
The 5GB provided is more than Dropbox’s free 2GB offering, but less than the 7GB that Microsoft gives free to its SkyDrive users. Interestingly, it is also less than the 7GB that Gmail users receive for their inbox.
However, if it is not enough, users can upgrade to 25GB for $2.49 (£1.55) a month, 100GB for $4.99 (£3.10) or even 1 terabyte for $49.99 (£31). However this is also more expensive than SkyDrive, which refreshed its cloud storage offering, possibly to pre-empt Google’s announcement.
How well do you know the cloud? Take our quiz