It might have taken awhile, but finally, Google Drive has launched. Google has been talking about its intention to introduce a cloud storage service for at least six years. And rumors about the imminent release ofa storage solution to take on companies like Box and Dropbox started percolating vigorously in the past few weeks.
On April 24, Google finally confirmed that it was, in fact, working on a storage offering and perhaps even better, it was making it available to customers in the coming weeks.
Now that the curtain has been pulled back, however, Google must begin the process of informing the world about why they might want to use Google Drive. Sure, it’s a cloud-storage offering that works on just about any platform, but there’s much more to it than that. But before any consumer or even enterprise user jumps onto the Google Drive bandwagon, they’ll need to know more about the solution.
To help out, we’ve decided to take a look at some of the finer points of Google Drive to help inform would-be users about why they might or might not want to sign up for the service when it launches in the coming weeks.
Check it out:
1. It’s not unique
Let’s just get the simple truth out of the way first:Google Drive is in no way unique. There are a host of cloud-based storage solutions across the Web, including Dropbox, Box and Amazon’s cloud services, that perform the same function. But Google is Google. And that alone makes this offering somewhat special.
2. 5GB of free storage
One of the nicest things about Google Drive is that it provides ample storage for what customers need. From video to music to documents,users can save up to 5GB of content at no charge. Considering how many users will likely sign up for Google Drive, that’s an awfully large amount of storage Google is willing to provide at no charge.
3. Google has integrated into its existing solutions
As one might expect, Google has integrated Drive into nearly all of its prominent applications. Gmail users can send bulky attachments through Drive; Google Docs users will be able to collaborate on documents from within the platform; and Google+ users will find their videos and pictures in Drive instantly available on the social network. Google is big on integration, and it has proved it again with Drive.
4. Third-party apps play a crucial role
Google isn’t establishing a walled garden with Drive. Instead, the company says that a host of third-party application providers will support the service, allowing users to store and share content across multiple platforms. That’s important. In the online world having the ability to transfer data from one service to another is increasingly appealing to users. It’s a welcome move by Google and its partners.
Apple iOS Device Support Is Missing From the Package
5. Windows, Mac and Android out of the box
The nice thing about being Google is that it doesn’t necessarily have to only play nice with one platform the way Apple and Microsoft do. So, the company said on April 24 that it will enable Drive to support Windows, Mac and Android devices out of the box.
6. iOS support is coming soon
Did you notice anything missing from that previous mention of Google Drive support? According to Google, iOS support will not be available to Drive users out of the box. However, the company has said that it will be “coming soon.” Whatever that means is up for debate.
7. File support should come in handy
There’s nothing worse than receiving an attachment to an email, only to find that it comes with a file extension that your computer doesn’t support. To address that problem in Google Drive, the search company says that it has built in native file support for more than 30 different application file formats, so users will still be able to open, say, Photoshop or Illustrator files even if they don’t have the application running on their computers.
8. Go back to the past
As anyone who has spent time backing up data knows, being able to go back in time to a previous upload is vastly important. According to Google, Drive will allow users to go back as far as 30 days to see what updates were made. The company also says that users can save a specific revision forever, if it’s really important.
9. There is a cost involved
All this talk of free storage and features forgets one important piece that customers won’t want to miss:Google Drive is a paid service for power users. Those who want 25GB of storage, for example, will need to pay $2.49 per month. A total of 100GB of storage will set customers back $4.99 per month. According to Google, it’ll charge $49.99 per month for 1TB of storage.
10. Search plays a key role
Given Google’s history, it would only make sense that search is built into Drive. The company says that users will be able to search based on keywords, file types, owners and other attributes. Even better, users will be able to search with image-recognition technology and by objects contained in scanned documents. The platform’s search sounds quite powerful.