I guess everybody knew that it was just a matter of time. With the kind of resources that Google has, the creation of a Google-branded cloud storage service is something that’s expected. Google recently unveiled its own cloud service called Google Drive that competes with the likes of Dropbox, Microsoft’s Skydrive and to a certain extent, Apple’s iCloud. We actually use and experience cloud services from Google with its Google Docs service but Google Drive is a cloud storage service with the magnitude and the features to rival Dropbox and Microsoft’s Skydrive.
So what does Google Drive offer? For starters, it gives users free storage of up to 5GB through its cloud server, or 3 GB more than the free 2GB service Dropbox is currently offering. On this point alone, Google Drive is already better than Dropbox. Honestly I find the 2GB limit from Dropbox a bit constraining so it’s good that there’s a new alternative to Dropbox. But 5GB is still a bit smaller compared with the 7GB free storage being offered by Microsoft’s SkyDrive. For Apple’s iCloud, free storage is also at 5GB.
What Google offers, however, is deep integration with Google Docs and a more sophisticated search mechanism. Google Docs is built right intoGoogle Drive. For Google Docs users, this means you can work with others in real time, complete with a commenting and notification system.
Like Dropbox, you can access your stored items from different devices. You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and there’s a Drive app for Android. Google says it will soon launch a Drive app for iOS devices. Google Drive’s search offers cool features. It recognizes text in scanned documents and also has an image recognition feature.
If you want to upgrade your storage from the free 5GB capacity, you can opt for the 25GB which sets you back $2.49/month, 100GB that’s priced at $4.99/month or 1TB for $49.99/month.
Watch this intro video for Google Drive.