Google Drive: Just Another Collaboration Tool?

Google Drive: Just Another Collaboration Tool?

If you’ve logged into Google lately, you may have noticed that their new product, Google Drive, is replacing their old documents product. Google Drive is being billed as their ultimate in cloud storage and comes with 5 GB of free space. You have the ability to use Google Drive with both PCs and Macs. In addition, you can currently use it on Android devices, and iPhone/iPad apps are coming soon, according to their website.

My first thought was from a business perspective—am I going to benefit in any way from using Google Drive? What I learned was that if you benefitted when it was Google Docs, you would continue to do so. If my business utilized Google Docs and was able to make it work for us, the same would continue to apply. My thoughts keep coming back full circle. Is Google doing anything different than their competitors in terms of cloud storage? The short answer is no; they are merely continuing the same service which operates as an easy-to-use, Office–like, integrated collaboration tool.

During my research, I found that there was a slight change in terms of the types of files you could store. The benefit of using Google Drive is that you can now upload any kind of file, and you are no longer limited to just the basics. Great for Google users, but really indifferent for people who have used Dropbox, SugarSync or any other true cloud storage type system. The other benefit remains that you won’t need to purchase any Microsoft products in order to edit your documents using Google Drive.

So how do you use it?

Yep, it really is that simple. Google has decided to just rename your little Documents tab to Drive. Once you click on Drive, it will open up a list of your recent files, just like Google Documents did. If you need to search for a file, you can use the normal search box at the top… or go for the super-organized tree on the left hand side.

If you are thinking to yourself, Wow! is that it? The big answer is no; there is something else we want to mention. You can now download Google Drive, the Desktop App.  Once you decide you want to explore the Google-meets-Desktop download, things really get simple.

Yep, I agree to give you my first born-chihauaua and a back rub.

Next, you sign in to your Google Account. Just hit the good ol’ next button.The installation itself is surprisingly easy.

On the next screen, you can choose to complete an Advanced Setup or Start Sync. That’s it; you are done installing the Google Drive Desktop App. The Desktop App boasts syncing in both directions, and even shared folders can be synced. In order to do this, you will have to drag-and-drop the shared folder over to My Drive in the Google Drive Web interface.

It really is just as simple as it ever was. Now, is this a viable business option for collaborating on files? Yes. Is it a powerhouse cloud storage solution for free? Not at this time.

By Dani Magestro

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