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Tech Report – Google Drive
Google finally unveiled its cloud storage service yesterday. Known as Google Drive, the service allows individuals and businesses to store photos, videos, documents, and other files on Google’s servers so they are available from any web-enabled device.
Google’s late entrance into the online storage business has allowed companies like Dropbox, Microsoft (SkyDrive), Apple (iCloud) and Amazon (Amazon Cloud Drive) to get a head start but that won’t stop Google from using every tool at its disposal to try and catch up.
Google Drive gives users 5GB of storage for free, which matches the free storage offerings from Apple and Amazon and is more than twice the free storage you can get from Dropbox. There is also a 25GB option for $2.49 per month, or you can have 100GB for $4.99 per month. Again, Google’s premium pricing structure significantly undercuts Dropbox, one of the pioneers of online storage and a company that has spurned acquisition advances by Google on more than one occasion.
Google also has the advantage of being able to integrate Google Drive with many of its other services. For example, Google+ users will be able to post photos directly from Drive, and Google is also working on an option for Gmail users to attach files from Google Drive to their e-mails. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work in real time with others on documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
Google is planning to make everything in Drive searchable by both text and image recognition. The ability to search by image is an extension of Google’s fascinating Google Goggles technology. In a blog post, SVP of Google Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai, gave an example of how this might work: “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.”
But the main advantage of Google Drive for most consumers will be the ability to store files and data and then access and share them from anywhere. You can install Google drive on a Mac or PC and download the Drive app to Android mobile devices. A Drive app for iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) is expected to be released shortly.
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