The wait has ended and the Google Drive has been officially launched, putting an end to speculations. However, the speculators were right when they guessed that Google Drive will be offering 5GB of free storage for everyone. Google Drive users can upgrade to 25GB per month with the paid option of $2.49 per month. The account can be upgraded to 100GB storage at $4.99 per month. If you need even more, space can be upgraded to 200GB with the payment of $9.99 per month. Google Drive comes with the built-in Google Docs. In fact the URL address of Google Docs is already redirecting Google Drive membership users to Google Drive. Google Drive is installed as a Folder on PC or Mac and an app is available for Android devices. No app has been rolled out for iPhone and other iOS devices. It is likely to be released soon for iOS as well.
Now we come to the critical question. How does Google Drive measure up against the competition like Dropbox and Sugarsync? For one thing Google Drive offers a true web based cloud experience. It allows the user to open around 30 types of files right within the browser without requiring installation of any additional software. As an example, a user of Google Drive can open Photoshop file right within Google Drive whereas Dropbox opens such files in a web gallery. Another powerful feature of Google Drive is its OCR capability. When you upload any image on Google Drive, it can scan the text contain in the image and make it searchable based on that text. This feature is similar to Evernote Premium.
You can not pick any folder on your computer to sync. This is in line with Dropbox which also allows the user to only sync folders added to the desktop app. Another powerful strength of Google Drive is its seamless syncing with Gmail, Google+ , other Google services and Android devices. Google Drive has its own powerful document editing capabilities which are as good as Microsoft’s Online Office suite. One missing feature, which is supported by both Sugarsync and Dropbox, is the streaming of media content to Android devices. After the launch of Google Drive, other Cloud services are going to get tough competition from Google, which has priced the product very reasonably. However, Google will need to release Google Drive’s API for developers soon because one of the strengths of Dropbox is its API which developers can use to create powerful apps for Android, iOS and web.
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