Google Drive is everywhere you are—on the web, in your home, at the office and on the go. So wherever you are, your stuff is just…there. Ready to go, ready to share. Get started with 5 GB free. Sadly, it’s basically GoogleDocs with the inclusion of a rudimentary file sync application.
Google Drive Finally Released
Google Drive, the long-awaited file, much talked about file storage and syncing service recently launched. If you follow tech news lately, you’ve seen bits or news and screenshots leaking out over the past couple weeks. The first thing you’re confronted with when you access Google drive is that it’s basically Google Docs, with integration to other services. In my opinion this is horrible. The Google Docs interface (not using Docs itself but the interface for dealing with your documents) in my opinion, sucks.
All users get 5GB of storage for free, after that there are paid plans for about $2.49 a month for 25GB, $4.99 a month for 100GB, etc. It goes all the way up to 16TB. While this shouldn’t be an issue for most, there IS a filesize limitation of 10GB.
Install Google Drive on your D: Drive – oh wait you can’t
On your desktop Google Drive works just like Dropbox and the new Microsoft’s SkyDrive. Google Drive creates a special folder that syncs and you can dump whatever you want into that folder and it will sync to your Google Drive. One MAJOR downside is that, at least on a Windows machine, it installs on the C: drive and you have no choice about that. As an aside, if you go to C:Users<profile>AppDataLocalGoogleDrive and open the sync_config.db file with SQLite you’ll see the install path listed. Sadly, changing it doesn’t work… yes… I tried. Google Drive pops are error telling you to point it back to the install folder. While this location may be fine for documents and whatnot it really limits using Google Drive as an offsite backup. I don’t want the files I “store” to be sitting on my primary partition.
Google Drive Used by Google to Target You
JUST like your email, Google Drive has access to all the contents of your files. It even uses Google Goggles to identify what’s in your images. And as of this year, that means all of Google has it and that data gets used for ad targeting, personalization and other integrations with Google applications and services. This never really bothers me that much… if it’s sensitive I use TruCrypt first. And for the record, SkyDrive and DropBox and all of the DO THE SAME THING.
Google Drive has apps!
There wasn’t a lot of reported on this but Google did release an SDK for developers to use with Google Drive. It’s not immediately obvious they are there (see screenshot, it’s under the cog) and once you click through to them you’re take to the Chrome Web Store. On first click I thought this was a mistake… it’s not… the apps load into Chrome and just request access to your Google Drive. This isn’t explained terribly well when you’re going through the process. There are a few stand out apps like Digital Document Signing, being able to fax to and from your Google Drive, etc. Click through this to browse the Google Drive Apps.
You can go get Google Drive at drive.google.com. While I think that Dropbox is still ahead of the game, and that SkyDrive’s (at least for existing users) free 25GB is outstanding there’s no reason NOT to at least give Google Drive a spin. If you’re a heavy Google Docs user you may really like, if you’re like me (hey I use GDocs, I just don’t do a lot of docs for personal stuff… hellloooooo EverNote!) you might feel underwhelmed.