24 April 2012

The Google Drive is finally here

I haven't had much of a chance to start playing with this yet (they have to prepare my drive before I can play with it actually...whatever that means), but wanted to go ahead and post about it...

After being talked about forever and ever and ever...well at least for the last two years, Google has finally launched the Google Drive.  You can read their actual launch post here, but here are the highlights as relayed via their post:
  • automatic 5GB of storage for free
    • You can upgrade for more storage at fairly reasonable prices (about $30 a year for 25GB and so on)
  • It integrates easily with other Google Products, such as Google Docs 
    • You can upload anything--PDF, Images, Spreadsheets--and have folks offer comments on it without it having to be in Google Format
  • Access from anywhere including mobile devices via apps (they say they're still working on the iOS app but it's coming)
  • Search for anything--this is a cool feature you can even search for text within a scanned image via Optical Character Recognition.  And they're using image recognition software so it will recognize say photos of the Andes mountains when you search for it.
  • They are also working with third party developers so that you can collaborate on say...webpage design with files stored in Drive via Chrome apps.
There's also a great write up by ReadWriteWeb (who have used it) on what it offers and looks like.

Obviously GDrive enters an already somewhat crowded marked with ADrive, Dropbox, Amazon Storage, Microsoft's new project (which I missed) etc. But...it seems like it has some benefits, as well as some downsides.

Obviously there are folks that are going to be concerned about the privacy factor.  This new drive will just give Google one more place to find out even more about you.  What will they do with the information?  Well they swear they won't do anything like sell it and I haven't had problems with it (and half of my life lives in Google) but this is something that you'll want to think about yourself.  Does having lots of your life and files in one place with one company work for you? Do you want to give Google just one more piece of your life?  It is a big question...

For me...I'm willing to give it a try because of some of the positive factors, such as the enhanced collaboration abilities which will be great for working with colleagues on documents, videos, photos, whatever the case may be.  And just to see how it works.  Am I going to keep everything on the GDrive?  Probably not...I do like having aspects of my life in a few different places.  And not all of my life needs to live in Google Domains. 

Once I actually get in and play with it I'll post again.

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