Google appears to be planning to promote its Google Drive service for the current generation of Chromebooks and Chromeboxes. As part of the promotion, Google will offer 100GB of free storage on Google Drive for users of the latest version of the Chromebook. According to Chromestory, many bits of code from the Chromium OS open source project that Google’s Chrome OS is based on suggest that the devices will have the option to get free space on Google Drive.
Google’s latest versions of the Chromebook only have 16GB of space. While this may seem limiting to some, the machine is mostly meant to use cloud storage and cloud-based services to work well, though users still need to buy that space on the cloud. By default, Google Drive gives users 5GB of free cloud storage.
The official Chromium code review with the code in question can be seen here. Here is the code snippet that suggests Google’s promotion:
544 GDATA_WELCOME_TITLE: ‘Welcome to Google Drive!’,
552 GDATA_WELCOME_TITLE: ‘Welcome to Google Drive!’,
553 GDATA_WELCOME_TITLE_ALTERNATIVE: ‘Get 100 GB free with Google Drive’,
More space on the cloud for Chromebooks
According to Chromestory, this promotion may not be for the older models of the Chromebook, at least not at launch. Only the Stumpy and Lumpy Chrome OS builds will get to see the offer.
When Gigaom asked Google about their promotion with Drive, a spokesperson from the search giant responded, “We’re always trying out new interfaces and features to enhance the user experience, but have nothing new to announce at this time.”
Google launched Google Drive in April. The service was rolled out in stages – free account users get 5GB of space while paid upgrades are available, with capacities scaling right up to 16TB. The service lets users of the Chrome OS simply save data to Google Drive. You can check out our hands-on of the service here.
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. If you pay for the extended storage in Google Drive, that extra space can be shared with your Gmail account as well.
Google Drive features built-in OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology which lets you search for text embedded in images, alongside image recognition, which allows you to search for specific holiday photos, even if they aren’t tagged correctly. Google has integrated Drive tightly with their other services as well and you can now attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+. Google is also working with third-party developers to enable sending 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.
Google started integrating Google Drive into Chrome OS shortly after the launch of the cloud storage service. The update is available for Chromebooks, specifically for the Acer AC700, Samsung Series 5 and Cr-48s Chromebooks.