After many leaks and and rumors, Google has finally released its Drive cloud storage service for the masses.
Google Drive will compete with the likes of Dropbox, Box, SugarSync and Microsoft SkyDrive. It most closely resembles Dropbox, giving users access to cloud-connected storage on PCs, Macs, smartphones, and tablets.
Every Drive user will be graced with 5GB of free storage for “documents, videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs, etc.” If you need to shoot more than 5GB worth of data up to the clouds you can get 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month, or 1TB for $49.99/month. Upgrading to one of the additional storage options will also expand your Gmail storage to the same capacity.
When signing into Google Drive the interface will be very familiar to those that have used Google Docs, because it’s basically the Docs interface, modified. Drive pretty much takes the place of Docs, while keeping all of the Docs functionality within. Even the Android Google Docs app magically turns into Google Drive once you install it.
Google highlights the following features:
Create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items.
Store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). All your stuff is just… there. You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices. You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and can download the Drive app to your Android phone or tablet. We’re also working hard on a Drive app for your iOS devices. And regardless of platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader.
Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping. You can search for a word from the text of the actual article. We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up. This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time.
Here are a couple of videos explaining their new cloud storage solution:
Source: Google Drive, Google Play, Official Google Blog
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