Yay, the “Google Drive could launch next week” rumors can finally end. Google has officially announced the availability of it cloud storage service Google Drive. Starting today, anyone willing to sign up can get 5GB of free cloud-storage to start and if that’s not enough you can always choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month (although I’ve heard people getting even cheaper deals when they sign up). When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB. Google Drive competes with the likes of Dropbox, Sugar Sync, and other cloud storage services by offering:
- 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.
Of course Google Drive being a Google product and all, will seamlessly work with other Google products and services such as Google+ and Gmail. It’s also an open-platform just begging for developers to do amazing things with.
Google Drive may seem like a no-brainer for all you users out there that rely heavily on Google products, but it’s still smart to explore all your other options and choose what’s right for your situation.
For more information or to get started with Google Drive today, follow the source links below.