April 24, 2012 | by Andrew Kameka
Google’s long-rumored Dropbox competitor Google Drive should be made official shortly. After years – that’s right, years – of accidental leaks and gossip, Google has let one final treasure trove slip before what appears to be an imminent announcement. Google France prematurely posted the Drive announcement before it was leaked, but here’s what to expect based on a saved copy by a Google+ user.
UPDATE: Google Docs app has been updated to Google Drive. Announcement is now official.
Drive offers users 5 GB of free cloud storage to keep photos, documents, archives, and other files. So if someone saves a PDF to their Drive folder on an office computer, it is automatically uploaded to the web and available from a computer or phone. Changes made in one location reflect on all others.
Android integration is strong in Google Drive. The “Share” function makes it easy to add to the service directly from a phone, so downloaded content, photos, documents edited on the go, or other content can be easily posted to the cloud. Drive has integration with Google Docs, so creation of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations will also auto-sync.
All users start with the free 5 GB but can upgrade to different tiers of service for a fee. Get all the pertinent information at the Google Drive Start Page. Other Important features included are:
- Google Docs integration that allows for the continued collaboration and creation of documents. Users can add comments to stored files and be updated on new comments or requests to share files.
- Device compatibility that extends to Mac, PC, and Android devices.
- Search by keyword or document type, owner, activity, and filter through results to find your desired file. Search also extends to word within documents and image recognition, so a search of Empire State Building might bring up photos you have of the building.
- File sharing is possible. Drive files can be shared privately with team members, photos can be shared, and it will soon allow attached documents into Gmail.
- Individuals can order an extra 20 GB for $5 per year.
- Google Apps users and administrators have access now. Users can purchase 20 GB extra for $4 per month or go as high as 16 TB.
- Google Docs are not included in your upload quota.