Google Drive: it's alive! PDF Print E-mail

The search giant's cloud storage service is finally available, with Google saying it's focused on context, not storage.

After years of speculation, Google Drive has been officially unveiled and is up and running for Google users.

Google senior VP of Chrome and Apps, Sundar Pichai, made the announcement in an official blog post yesterday, describing Google Drive as “a place where you can create, share, collaborate and keep all of your stuff”.

Pichai says: “We have really focused here on letting users create and share with others and this is a natural evolution of Google Docs. It`s not just storage, it`s about helping you live and work in the cloud and making sure your data is seamlessly available everywhere.”

Google Drive is currently available for use across the Mac, PC and Android platforms, and Pichai says support for iOS is “coming soon”. “You can use it with many third-party applications – we`re working with many developers to expand the Drive ecosystem.”

As expected, existing Google services such as Google Docs are deeply integrated with Google Drive – allowing for real-time collaboration on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. A search function is also included, which allows users to search all content by keywords and filter by file type and other criteria. Pichai says Drive can also index scanned documents using optical character recognition technology.

Google Drive users will be started off with 5GB of free storage. Paid-for storage options include 25GB for $2.49 per month, 100GB for $4.99 per month, or 1TB for $49.99 per month. All account upgrades will also expand the user`s Gmail account to 25GB.

According to Pichai, Google Drive has been designed to work seamlessly with the users` 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 e-mails in Gmail.”

Possible future functionality that is being worked on by third-party developers includes sending faxes, editing videos and creating Web site mock-ups within Google Drive.

As competition in the cloud storage space continues to heat up, here`s a comparison of some of the available options.

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