Google has recently made a rather bold move in the online storage space. The newly launched Google Drive will give you a rather moderate amount of storage, around 5 GB, but the good thing is that it is tightly integrated with Google Docs, Google’s online service for word processing and spreadsheets. If you are ready to pay a small fee, you can get storage space of up to 1 TB. The space, available for free or for a small payment, is bound to improve in times to come, as it has happened in case of Gmail, where now users are now getting more than 10 GB of free space.
Store all media
Incidentally, many of us have already been using Google Docs to collaborate in real time and also to store our documents, spreadsheets and presentations online. But with Google Drive, you get to enjoy the advantage of that upgraded 5GB of storage. This means that you will also be able to store and share media files including movies, images, music, PDFs and much else. When other people comment on the shared items you get a notification. You also enjoy the facility of being able to access your files from anywhere, especially while you are on the go.
Search to access files
In Google Drive, there is no need to create any folders. You can search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. The technology being used in Google Drive is so advanced that it can even recognise the text in scanned documents by using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Image recognition features are also there, so if you are storing pictures from your trip to Rishikesh or the hills of Kerela, you can search for these places and the pictures will automatically pop up. Google is still working on this technology, and over a period of time we can expect it to get better.
The Google Drive is seamlessly integrated with the other Google services like Gmail, Google Docs, Google+, etc that we have been using for many years. As of now it is possible for you to attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+. In its blogpost Google has said that it is working on a system that will allow users to attach stuff from Drive directly to emails in Gmail. As the Drive is an open platform, it might even become possible to send faxes, edit videos and create website mock-ups by using resources based in Drive. So we can expect lot of Drive based apps coming into our lives.
Google Drive boasts of a strong “Track Changes” feature, which will keep track of every change that you make to any particular file. So after making changes, when you hit on the save button, a new version is saved. It is possible for you to look back at the file as it was for as back as 30 days. You can also choose to reject the new version and save an earlier version. The changes that you make in any file stored in the Google Drive, gets automatically reflected in all the other devices that are connected to your Google account.
If you are an Android mobile phone user, you have ready access to Google Drive. But currently the Drive lacks the apps to allow access from iOS (Apple) devices like iPad and iPhone. It also lacks connectivity to BlackBerry and Windows Mobile systems. But Google is said to be working on this issue, and sooner or later we can expect apps for all kinds of mobile operating systems.
Perhaps online storage is not for everyone. If you are extra sensitive about privacy issues, then you could be better off storing your files in a pen drive. But a pen drive does not offer you the facility of anywhere, anytime access. The Google Drive, like any Google product, falls under Google’s terms of service, which let Google scan and use its consumers’ content for Google’s own purposes. Load a sensitive personal document onto Drive and Google will be within its rights to read it. So you should start using the Drive only after reading the terms and conditions of the service.