Google has finally launched their highly anticipated Google Drive today, a cloud storage service that will finally give Dropbox some serious competition.
Today, we’re introducing Google Drive—a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you’re working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive. You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond.
A brief glimpse of Drive’s features include the ability to open over 30 different types of files from a browser (you don’t need to have the program installed on your computer to open the file), share files/folders with anyone and choose if they can view/edit/comment them and revert back to an older saved version of any file (up to 30 days).
From the Google Blog:
With Google Drive, you can:
- 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.
As for pricing, you get 5GB of storage for free. Paid plans include 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or 1TB for $49.99/month. If you require even more space, multiple TB tiers are available, up to 16TB for $799 per month. Any upgraded plans will mean that your Gmail will also get a nice bump up in storage to 25GB.
Another interest thing about Drive is that it is an open platform, meaning that through 3rd party apps, you can “send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups” right from within Drive. You’ll have to install these apps from the Chrome Web Store, and expect more useful ones to show up in the future.
You can get started with Google Drive here, and download the PC and Mac apps as well. It does appear that the service is still being rolled out, so you may not be able to sign up at the moment. As for the iPhone/iPad Google Drive app, it hasn’t been released yet, though Google has said that it’s coming soon.