As previously reported last week, Google has finally released their long awaited cloud service: Google Drive (http://drive.google.com). You can sign up with your existing Gmail account or create a new one and start out with the free 5GB of storage space.
All in all, it’s very similar to other cloud storage services. You can access all your files and folders by simply going to the website and signing in. You can also download a client to sit on your desktop or to run on your mobile device and automatically sync between all of them. The client is compatible with Android (of course), Windows, and iOS. Surprisingly, there doesn’t appear to be a Linux client as of yet.
As expected, it ties directly in to Google Docs. You can right click on any folder and choose to create a new document, presentation, drawing, etc. The free account starts out at 5GB, and doesn’t appear to provide any upgrades to capacity for inviting friends, uploading photos, or other such incentive that we’ve seen with Dropbox. However, you can increase your capacity by purchasing an upgraded account. The prices are actually, rather reasonable. Standard plan upgrades are 25GB for $2.49 a month ,or 100GB for $4.99 a month. This upgrade is shared capacity that can be used for both Drive and Picasa. Both come with a “bonus” of 25GB also added to your GMail storage. You also have the choice to grow beyond 100GB with the price steadily increasing as you go (i.e. 200GB for $9.99/month). I was seriously eyeing the 100GB option.
This is just my initial thoughts after playing with the interface for a few minutes, and there may yet be a few surprises for me to uncover. Overall, there’s nothing really groundbreaking here, but there are several advantages that will likely draw me away from my beloved Dropbox. The pricing is better, provides a few more account types/options, and of course, it ties heavily into all the other Google services. I hope that as time progresses, we’ll get to see a few more incentives to increase drive capacity here and there.
So what do you think? Will you use Google Drive?