Mountain View, California -- Well, finally it seems that after all the rumors, speculation and leaks, Google on Tuesday officially unwrapped its much-awaited Google Drive service that allows users to store photos, videos, and other digital files in the Internet “cloud,” along with 5GB of free space -- an increase of 4GB over what it had been offering users of Google Docs.
While the newly launched Google Drive admittedly competes with plenty of other services for sharing files across all your devices, such as Dropbox, where users similarly share files with each other via a cloud-based storage system.
The company ultimately confirmed the announcement after information about it leaked on Google's French blog site. In fact, the company had apparently posted details of the new cloud storage service on the blog and then quickly deleted them.
“Just like the Loch Ness Monster, you may have heard the rumors about Google Drive,” Google said on its blog. “It appears that one of the two actually does exist.
“Today, we are introducing Google Drive, µa place where you can create, share, collaborate, and store all of your stuff. Whether you are 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.”
But Google Drive is particularly different from its competitors with the integration of Google Docs which lets users edit and work on documents, spreadsheets and presentations with each other in real time and receive notifications when changes or comments have been made to existing documents.
Image Credite: (Google)
Google will email users “when your Google Drive is ready.” In a blog post on the Official Google Blog, Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President for Chrome and Apps, describing the features of Google's latest product.
Basically, Google Drive has been conceived with Google Docs in mind, and Docs is built-in to Drive. Drive can be installed on a Mac or PC and there is already has a Drive app for Android phones in Google Play. Pichai states that the Google team is “working hard” on an iPhone version as well, but there is not yet an app in Apple's App Store.
Apart from numerous new capabilities coming to other Google products, Google has developed Drive as an open platform, encouraging third-party developers to design solutions around the service. From the blog post:
Drive is built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience. You can attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+, and soon you’ll be able to attach stuff from Drive directly to emails in Gmail. Drive is also an open platform, so we are working with many third-party developers so you can do things like send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups directly from Drive. To install these apps, visit the Chrome Web Store—and look out for even more useful apps in the future.
In fact, Autodesk and some other third-party application developers have worked together with Google to make it possible for people to use their software in Drive accounts, where teams can join forces online to handle projects.
“We have only shared it with a few developers so far,” Pichai said. “In due course, we want Drive to be thought of as a place where you can create anything and collaborate with anyone; and the devices or apps are up to you.”
Furthermore, Google Drive accounts with five gigabytes of storage were available for free at drive.google.com and upgrades to additional space on servers in the California company's data centers were available at rates set by size and country. Besides, there will be a Web-based file interface that offers access to 30 different file types, including HD video, Photoshop and Illustrator.
“The model is really designed at the core to help people live their lives in the cloud,” Pichai said on a conference call with reporters. “Google Drive is something we see as most significant to the online experience at Google.”
He further added, “This is a natural progression.” “We are moving to a post-PC (personal computer) era where this is the cloud at work. Pretty soon you will be able to open a file from anywhere in Google Drive.”
The basic Google Drive package is free and is bundled with 5 GB of storage space. According to Google, users can upgrade to 25 GB for $2.49/month, 100 GB for $4.99/month or 1 TB for $49.99/month. As a bonus, when you upgrade your Google Drive to one of these paid accounts, your Gmail account will also receive a storage boost to 25 GB.
In the mean time, additional details can be found in the video below or on Google's blog.