The rumors and sightings of the past week have been proven true. Google has just announced the launch of its new cloud storage service, Google Drive. Users can now request a 5 GB Drive over on the Drive website. Google will email users "when your Google Drive is ready." In a blog post on the Official Google Blog, Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President for Chrome and Apps, outlined the features of Google's latest product.
First off, drive can be installed on a Mac or PC and there is already has a Drive app for Android phones in Google Play. Pichai states that the Google team is "working hard" on an iPhone version, but there is not yet an app in Apple's App Store.
Google Drive has been built with Google Docs in mind, and Docs is built-in to Drive. Google Docs files can be stored on a user's Drive. Users can even use Drive to collaborate on documents in real-time, a feature reminiscent of the now-defunct Google Wave. It's not surprising that Google has designed drive to work seamlessly with other google services. In addition to new functionality coming to other Google products, Google has built Drive as an open platform, encouraging third-party developers to design solutions around the service. From the blog post:
Drive is built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience. You can attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+, and soon you’ll be able to attach stuff from Drive directly to emails in Gmail. Drive is also an open platform, so we’re working with many third-party developers so you can do things like send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups directly from Drive. To install these apps, visit the Chrome Web Store—and look out for even more useful apps in the future.
In a Googley twist to cloud storage, users will be able to search all of their files. Google is using new image recognition technology to associate search terms with images, making it easier to sift through large collections of photos.
The basic Google Drive package is free and comes with 5 GB of storage space. If you need more space, rental prices have also been announced:
- 25 GB for $2.49 per month
- 100 GB for $4.99 per month
- 1 TB for $49.99 per month
As a bonus, if you upgrade your Google Drive to one of these paid accounts, your Gmail account will also receive a storage boost to 25 GB.
Have a look at the launch video Google has prepared and leave a comment with your thoughts below.