Google has gone live with its new Google Drive online cloud storage service – a central hub for storing documents, photos, videos, and more.
According to the Google Drive page, users can get started with 5GB of storage for free. Users, if they wish, can upgrade to 25GB of storage for less than US$2.50 a month.
It will be interesting to see how the new Google Drive service – which is still in beta mode – will compete with Microsoft’s existing SkyDrive service and up-and-coming cloud services like Dropbox.
The key difference with the new Google Drive service is that Google has taken many of the collaborative features of Google Docs and embodied them in the service, with the ability to share documents with whomever you wish and co-edit them within the service.
Indeed, if you had already been using Google Docs then previous collaborative documents will automatically populate the Drive page. However, an option to download Google Drive for Mac didn’t download.
According to the Google Drive page, the service is available for Android devices, PCs and Macs, with iPhone and iPad versions coming soon.
Demand for Drive
Speculation reached fever pitch this afternoon after a blog post by Google SVP for Chrome & Apps Sundar Pichai leaked on the web in French.
“Google Docs is integrated directly into Google Drive, allowing you to work in real time with colleagues on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Add and reply to comments on any media (PDF, image, videotape, etc.) and be informed when other people comment on or wish to share documents with you.
“Keep your documents securely and access anywhere and any device connected to the internet. All your documents are just … there. Whatever happens. Drive you can install on your Mac, PC or download the application Drive on your phone or Android tablet. IOS version of the application will be available in the coming weeks. Drive is also accessible to visually impaired people using a screen reader tool,” according to the leaked blog.