Google has just officially pulled the wraps off Google Drive, their own take on cloud storage solution. Google Drive is available to anyone with a Google account and to start off with, you get 5GB of storage free of cost. Google Docs has also been integrated into Google Drive allowing you to share, edit and access all your Office documents and PDFs in real time. The main purpose of Google drive however, just like Dropbox, Box.net, SugarSync, etc. is that it gives you a one stop shop for all your personal files, be it photos, video, music or just about anything else. Google Drive is currently available for PC, Mac and Android although iOS users will have to wait just a little bit longer for the app. Now, even though Google's made it official, the service is still being setup so not everyone has access to Drive just yet. You can still download the app from the Play Store, although you’ll be greeted with this message, “Your Google Drive is not ready yet”.
Better late than never
While 5GB is enough for most people, you do have the option to increase the storage space to 25GB for a monthly fee of $2.49, 100GB for 4.99 a month or 1TB for $49.99 a month. Along with the announcement of Drive, Google will also be giving a little treat to Gmail users in the form of more storage space which bumps up your account to 10GB from the existing 7.5GB. Also, if you pay for the extended storage in Google Drive, that extra space can be shared with your Gmail account as well. Google Drive also features built-in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology which means you can now search for text embedded in images as well. Image recognition that allows you to search for specific holiday photos, even though they aren’t tagged correctly, is also present. Google has integrated Drive tightly with their other services as well and you can now attach photos from Drive to posts in Google +. Upcoming features include the ability to attach files from Drive directly to emails. Google is also working with third-party developers to enable sending of faxes, editing videos and creating website mockups, directly from Drive. The new service is still a work in progress so don’t expect everything to be flawless right from the get go, things will only improve with time. Here’s a quick demo video for Google Drive.
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