It’s called Google Drive, and as confirmed by TechCrunch, the service is live right now. We’d previously heard that Google had increased the storage capacity of its web-based office suite Google Docs to 5 gigabytes, presumably in anticipation of the launch of Google Drive, and now it appears that was the case.
The new Drive service, much like competitor Dropbox, provides users with a cloud-based storage location to which they can save all kinds of content. Users start out with a free 5GB of storage when they sign-up (which you can do at drive.google.com), and can upgrade their service to 25GB of storage for $2.49 per month or 100GB for $4.99 per month. That’s a little better than Dropbox’s starting numbers, which offers 2GB of storage out of the gate and an upgrade to 50GB for $9.99 a month. Heavy users can even up that to an unfathomable 16TB of space if they upgrade their account.
As expected, the cool thing about Google Drive is that it links with Google’s existing apps. In fact, the mobile version of Google Docs has morphed into Google Drive, so if you’re already using Google’s document-making mobile app, a quick update will bring you up to speed with the new app.
Because of the link between Google Docs and Google Drive, everything you’ve saved in Google Docs is immediately available in your Google Drive – but it won’t take up your space, because Google uses web links to those items rather than save text into the actual files.
If you are still carrying around a USB drive with all your work documents or your graduate thesis, you definitely need to check out this smart and productive app. The free Google Drive app allows you to save all your documents in one handy place that you can access from just about anywhere. It connects with Google Docs so everything you have already saved, transfers over. App users can easily share documents with co-workers, clients, teachers, etc. Google Drive is made for collaborating. When you make edits to a document saved in your Google Drive app, those with whom you have shared the file can see your edits in mere seconds and vice versa. For you Type A worry warts, you can also save files for use without an Internet connection just in case. You can convert and save spreadsheets, PDFs, presentations and more. Another fun and super-useful feature is that you can quickly take a photo of a document with printed text and convert it to a Google document with no retyping necessary.
The Google Drive app is optimized for larger screen Android devices and tablets. Another handy feature allows you to share large video and photo files saved in the Google cloud by a link, instead of constantly downloading and taking up much-coveted Android smartphone/tablet space.
Google is slinging gigabytes in all directions with the release of Drive. In addition to adding 5GB of storage basically to Google Docs, users of Google’s Gmail web-based email service are also getting more space – 10GB of storage, up from the traditional free 7GB offered to users.