The Future’s In The Cloud
Something big just came out of Mountain View today. It’s a cloud storage service called Google Drive. With every other company releasing cloud storage services, the end user is often confused, suffocated and most likely, when asked about cloud services, has this very expression-
So what’s different about Google Drive? According to Google, Drive is “a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you’re working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates”. Quite convenient, yes..
But, the core of Google Drive, like any other Google service, would be its seamless and tight integration with other Google services. Like Google Docs, for example. Google Docs is coalesced with Google Drive. Users are free to edit, upload, create or do whatever the hell they want with their documents on Google Drive. Though Google Docs isn’t really useful to me, personally but, it is certainly an extremely powerful tool. Working on a document as a team becomes as simple as A-B-C. Especially if your team partners are dim-witted. Also, it’s a decent alternative to the Microsoft Productivity Suite but, I certainly wouldn’t go to say that it totally replaces it, since a few features bring Microsoft out on top.
With Google Drive, Google is offering 5 GB of free storage space with clients for Windows, Mac and their beloved baby- Android. The iOS version of the app is supposedly in the works. It’s interesting to note that Google Docs storage doesn’t go towards the 5 GB of storage. So, if you have gigabytes/terabytes of documents, Google Drive welcomes you with open arms, ready to hug you like an old man welcomes the Grim Reaper.
Google has also boasted of their Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. This means that Google will be bale to scan each and every word of the document you upload on Drive and will make it available when you search for it on Drive. For example, if you upload a scanned document which has the word “Samsung” in it, you will actually be able to see the document come up when you search for “Samsung”, regardless of the title of the document. The same technology also applies for pictures. If a picture of Mount Everest is uploaded, Google scans it and matches it with its wide library of images and gives you the picture as a result when you search for “Mount Everest” in your Drive. Cool? Yes. Creepy? Absolutely.
Apart from the obvious Google Docs integration, there isn’t really anything to boast about in Google Drive. Anyone who has ever used DropBox/SkyDrive is most likely to catch up extremely fast with the concept. Inevitably, there are comparisons with other cloud service platforms like DropBox, SkyDrive and iCloud.
- Google is offering 5 gigabytes of free storage. This can be extended to 25 gigabytes for $2.50 per month, 100 GB for $5 per month, 200 GB for $10 per month and so on and so forth.
- DropBox offers 2 gigabytes of free storage, which can be extended each time by 500 MB, via the method of referrals. This game goes on till you receive 18 GB of free storage. But, if you feel the need for more, DropBox offers 50 GB for $10 per month and 100 GB at $20 per month.
- SkyDrive was one of the first few to arrive on the cloud scene. Though it was badly marketed, SkyDrive was and still is, an extremely decent alternative to the other services. Microsoft offers seamless and smooth integration with OneNote and has been offering the same services(online team editing) as Google Docs with its online suite of Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint and the likes. SkyDrive starts you off with 7 GB of free storage and goes till 25 GB. The apps on mobile platforms have to be improved though. Microsoft offers 45 GB at $10 per year, 75 GB for $25 per year and 125 GB for $50 per year.
- iCloud was what made companies go helter-skelter with cloud services. The most marketed feature was the “Your Data Anywhere” one. Like its competitors, it offered quick syncing between all your Apple devices. It is simple to use as a document-syncing tool and also one of the best, I daresay. Apple offers 10 GB for $20 per year, 20 GB for $40 per year and 50 GB for $100 per year.
Google has gone all out with its marketing campaign for Google Drive and has released an official blog post and a very cool video-
So, what’s your cloudy poison? 😉