Google Drive is Google’s file sync and storage service. Before the official launch, there were a lot of rumors and speculations about the service. To start with Google Drive gives its users 5 GB of cloud storage free of cost, through a paid monthly subscription plan, the storage space can be upgraded up to 16 TB. Google drive is technically an extension of Google Docs which allows users to store any type of file.
Apart from the web page, Google Drive has a client that helps to synchronize files. The client is available for Mac, Windows, Android and iOS devices. Google also plans to integrate the online storage capabilities to the Chrome OS version 20. The Google Drive client weighs about 70MB and the installation is fairly simple and pretty much the same on both Mac and Windows. Setting up Google Drive is very easy and Google says that files up to 10 GB in size can be uploaded to the cloud storage.
Compare to other cloud storage services, the storage limit offered by Google for free seems to be good. Dropbox offers 2 GB storage, Apple’s iCloud has 5 GB and Microsoft’s SkyDrive offers 7 GB. Although there are plenty of competitions for Google’s cloud storage service, the key feature is that Google Drive is integrated with Google Docs. Any compatible file, be it documents, presentations, spreadsheets, images or pdf files can be open within the browser. The stored files can be shared with other users with ease. Users can also work with other and edit or create documents in real time. Once a file is shared, comments could be added to the file and Google Drive notifies the moment a comment is received.
Being the masters of search engine technologies, Google has lots of goodies to offer with the Drive service. The user can search for files by type, who owns it, the files visibility, content of the files and a lot more. Google has also integrated optical character recognition, which converts images to texts. When a scanned image of a document is uploaded, the content in the image is also converted into text which Google stores, and when the user searches for a word or phrase from the scanned document, Google uses the OCR technology and pulls up the particular document or file.
With features like these to start with, Google has already set the foundation for cloud storage service, now it’s only a matter of time for new technologies and services to be integrated. Google Drive for real, will make an impact and change the way we store and share files.