A Round of Applause for Google Drive
Just as iCloud is cresting in popularity and trending well with its users, Google has flown in, to upstage Apple, to steal its thunder, to stop the show — insert your own “oh no they didn’t” cliché here. Bottom line: Google has taken quite the inviting Drive into the competitive, and increasingly crowded, cloud computing sphere.
The latest expansion of the Google brand looks upward into the cloud. Deemed Google Drive, this new service from the world’s most powerful Internet organization will provide users with five gigabytes’ (5GB) worth of storage and backup space in the cloud, without costing its users a penny. Should a user like to have even more space, Google Drive makes it available (up to 25 GB in total) for an extremely reasonable and attractive fee — just $2.50 a month.
Previous cloud titans Apple and Microsoft are likely sweating in their boots right about now. What was once their almost exclusive turf has been partially co-opted by Google, whose brand name appeal will undoubtedly lure an wave of users of possibly unprecedented magnitude.
What features will drive this horde of Google fans to Drive’s site? One nifty feature is the capacity to instantly create spreadsheets, presentations, and other such documents on which the activities and edits of multiple participants are immediately and seamlessly synchronized. Additionally, it syncs beautifully with virtually every app out there.
Hefty e-mail attachments via Gmail are a thing of the past; sending a link via Google Drive to recipients distributes the document(s) without wasted space. Drive’s cloud also automatically uploads Google+ users’ vids and pictures. Furthermore, Drive revolutionizes internet search procedure, as it recognizes objects in images and text from scanned documents.
As the incredibly bulging cherry on top of Google’s cloud cake, Drive accommodates more than thirty types of files, from high definition videos to Photoshop. The clincher: you don’t even need to have installed the programs associated with such files on your computer for Drive to manage them. Bravo, Google, Bravo.
And yet Drive’s delights for users drive on further still — back in time. Google’s cloud surveys your every alteration made to every document you handle, allowing you to head backwards — up to thirty days — to save in a flash, or cherry-pick a revision to save for always.
From our (VERY) cursory review, Google Drive seems to answer many cloud computing prayers. Questions still remain, however. Weren’t Gmail and Google Docs the company’s first forays into the cloud? How will the new kid Drive harmonize with its older siblings? And most importantly: what security and data protection measures will Drive take to safeguard users’ information?
As we wait for the answers to these, we’ll keep basking in what seems like a delicious Drive, which seems to make a confection of the cloud.
By Jeff Norman