Google Drive Launched: Get Free Invites!‏

After much hype, Google has finally unwrapped the brand new Google Drive. And as expected, it is equipped with many features. Basically, it is an online file-storage service, where you can upload your important files for sharing and safekeeping. Like Microsoft’s SkyDrive, it offers an online storage space of 5GB for free! Now admittedly, Google has been slow in introducing such a service, considering that it a The Internet Giant. Don’t let this be the deciding factor here though. As they say, slow and steady wins the race. Or does it? I mean, sure, Google has been introducing many new services and improving on existing ones, but is Google Drive any better than other storage services?A quick glance at the features shows that it may be. Aside from giving you free space on its server, Google Drive includes many exciting features like smart tagging, and image recognition. Let’s see if it actually is better than others,or not.

Setting up Google Drive

Setting up Google Drive is very easy. You will need a Google Account for this. If you have one, simply start using Google Drive here. You will be guided through simple steps. Since this is a brand new service, you might be put on a waiting list for those whose Drive isn’t ready yet. Give them your email so that they can notify you when your Drive is ready.
What’s cool about it?

There are lots of cool features that come with Google Drive. Watch the video below for a preview of Google Drive.

Store and share!

As already mentioned, Google Drive lets you use up to 5GB of free space. Which means you can upload any document, image or video of a large size (though uploading HD videos over a 3G network might not be a very good idea :P). Aside from storage, Google also gives you sharing options. With this, you can share file for something, say a group project, and then, all your group members can access and work on those files at the same time!

Google Integration

Recently, we have been seeing a change in Google’s business model. It has introduced services and features that are aimed at keeping visitors on its own websites. Google+ is a good example. And so is Google Drive. It has integration for all Google Product an average internet user uses, such as Google Docs, Google+, Gmail, Android etc, which is aimed at providing users with a seamless ‘Google’ experience. Now, you no longer have to attach bulky files with emails. Just upload them on your Drive, and send links to any emails you want.

Google Docs

In addition to Gmail and Google+, Google Drives is also integrated with your Google Docs. This means that you will be able to work on your word documents, presentations, or spread sheets right on your Drive.

Text and image recognition

This one is my favorite by far. It can search text within image files! So if I want to look for some text in a document that I scanned, I can easily do that. Amazing huh? Google Drive also has an image recognition system that lets you search for an image. But the text recognition has made life really very simple for me.

Smart Tagging

If you ‘tag’ your files, you can later search them based on the tagged keywords. This is a very smart way of organizing your files.

Support for many file types

Google Drives gives you the option of viewing more than 30 most commonly used file types. Be it PDF, or JPEG image, an or mp4 video, you can view and edit them (mostly docs) right on your browser.

Mobile Apps!

Google Drive has apps for both Windows and Mac OS. But what’s more useful is the mobile apps for Android devices. You can access your Drive right through your phone! Note; the iPhone app is being worked upon and is expected to come out in the coming weeks.
Extending Storage
Generally, a 5GB storage space is enough for my basic needs. But if you are not satisfied, you can buy more storage from Google at a certain cost. The packages are as shown below.

  • 25GB = $2.49 / month
  • 100GB = $4.99 / month
  • 1TB = $24.99 / month

Note; When you buy a package plan, the storage limit extends to your Gmail storage as well. So essentially, you are buying twice the space for the same amount.

In many areas, Google Drive might look no different than other such storage services. But Google is working with third party services to provide more features such as editing videos, sending faxes, etc. Even through services like DropBox provide some similar features, personally, I’d pick Google Drive over SkyDrive or DropBox, mainly due to the integration, the text recognition, and the ease of use. But really, it all comes down to personal preferences. So try out Google Drive, and tell us whether you like it or not!

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