Google Drive, which has been floating in the news for so long, has finally been launched. With a whooping 5 GB of free drive capacity (online storage capacity), it’s a huge pull for individual consumers who want to store all their files securely online and not worry about hard drive crashes or lost pen drives. Google Drive also has paid versions that provide a higher capacity – 25 GB for $2.49, 100 GB for $4.99 and even 1 TB for $49.99 per month.
But think about its potential enterprise applications. Individual employees working in a company might want to create their own accounts on Google drive and start storing all their files online. If they need to send a bulky file to their colleague while traveling, they can just do it from their mobile phone and 3G Internet connection because files from Google drive can directly attach to Gmail messages! The Google Drive can even work as a secure online back-up solution for small businesses.
Google drive has Google Docs built right into it. That means, employees can collaborate in real-time on documents, image files, videos, etc. People can share some of these files with others and they can comment on the same. The Google Docs integration could be very useful to geographically dispersed employees working on a team project as bulky files need not be sent to everyone by email. They can just be shared online, via Google Drive!
There is one thing that I would like to see. Instead of downloading files/media to my computer and then to Google Drive, it would be better if websites allow us to directly Save as -> Save to Google Drive. It will save some bandwidth! Yes, some of us don’t really have unlimited bandwidth and that could be the biggest challenge to start using Google drive on a daily basis.
Of course, Google never fails to bring its biggest strength into any of the new products it introduces – The Google Search! People can now search documents not only by their file name, but also some phrases/words used inside the documents. While this is not new, its online implementation is quite new. People can also search for documents using the text embedded into images and pdf documents! That’s the power of optical character recognition technology and Google has introduced an early version of OCR in its Google Drive.
The killer for Google Drive is perhaps its integration with Gmail, Google+ and Google Docs. If the Google Drive is extended to businesses using Google Apps, it could be a major selling point for Google Apps. Think about it, one does not even need storage on their computers to work! Have a tablet/netbook and Internet connection? Just start working!
The Google drive is actually the cloud in its truest sense. It sort of completes the circle.
PS: When I try to log into Google Drive, it says it’s not yet ready yet. I will update this space once I am able to log-in and explore the various features offered. Meanwhile, just check if you are able to log-in.
Update: I requested for an email intimation to let me know once my Google drive was ready and I was intimated in less than six hours from my first login. I am able to access Google drive now. All my Google docs files are already into my Google drive and I just uploaded a couple of backup files as well. Yaay… it works! 🙂
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