Google has officially announced Google Drive, its long-rumored cloud storage solution that will be competing with Dropbox, Microsoft's SkyDrive, and other cloud sync and backup services. The service, which gives you 5GB of storage for free, is now (or soon will be) available to anyone with a Google accoun, including Google Apps users.

The Google Drive client, which is currently available for PC, Mac, and Android devices (with iOS support coming soon), works similarly to Dropbox: it creates a single folder on your computer that syncs your data with Google's servers and with your other synced devices. Storage upgrades are available starting at $2.49 a month for 25GB, $4.99 a month for 100GB, and so on all the way up to $799.99 a month for 16TB - the full list of price points is available here. Upgrading to a paid account automatically gets you 25GB of Gmail space, and will let the Picasa image storing service use your expanded Google Drive storage pool rather than the 1GB of space available for free.

The advantage that Drive has over Dropbox for heavy Google users is deep integration with Google's existing services; if you've already got documents in Google Docs, they will automatically appear in your Google Drive. Sharing, collaborating, and commenting on files is also built-in, as is a robust search engine that can actually scan images and PDFs for keyword matches using OCR.

You can find more information about Google Drive here. While the service looks promising, whether it can make headway against entreched competitors like Dropbox (or competitors with deep OS integration, like iCloud and the recently upgraded SkyDrive) remains to be seen.

Source: Google

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  • darwinosx - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    We are talking about consumer products which Sharepoint isn't.
    Also Sharepoint sucks. But it sucks a little less than everything else out there.
  • statprof - Thursday, April 26, 2012 - link

    SpiderOak does understand and, unlike DropBox, they do not hold the key!. It is encrypted on your device and then sent. They cannot decrypt it so they cannot respond to a court order. If you want encryption, look at them - it runs on all popular platforms.
  • Zoomer - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Probably TLS?
  • twotwotwo - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    In the settings for the Android app (an upgrade of the Docs app), you can choose to encrypt the cached content on your gadget. Not what you want here, and probably only helpful in some fairly narrow circumstances. (If you really need security, you probably want to encrypt and PIN-lock the tablet/phone (with mail, browser cookies, and so on) and get some remote-erase software on it.)
  • B3an - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    So you post about this but no dedicated post about the vastly better and improved SkyDrive or the new apps for SkyDrive? Just some quick mention at the end.
  • EnerJi - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    The new storage plans are 3-5 times more expensive than the old ones. The prices for the old storage plans were last reduced in 2009, almost two years ago. In the intervening time, hasn't storage generally become denser and cheaper (notwithstanding the temporary hard drive shortages due to flooding in Thailand)? What gives, Google?

    And AnandTech, this would be a great topic for some investigative journalism. How does Google increasing the price of their storage by 3-5 times (depending on amount of storage) as compared to prices they last set two years ago? If anything, storage density is doubling roughly every two years, so they should have CUT prices, not increased them by incredible amounts!
  • deeceefar2 - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    They have updated the service offering new capabilities that were previously not offered; chief among those syncing. This increases the server hardware costs and possibly the amount of copies of a bit required to use the data in this way. So they increased the data storage costs to match the new feature set. That said they are pretty close to the cheapest on the market; so I don't see any reason why they won't get away with it.
  • ajp_anton - Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - link

    Are you sure 16TB is $799.99, $1.59 more expensive than 160 packages of 100MB? =)
    And why do prices always end with lots of 9's...
  • darwinosx - Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - link

    iCloud is not a storage locker. it syncs data across applications. Not the same thing at all as Dropbox etc and I don't know why people call it a competitor.
  • kyuu - Thursday, April 26, 2012 - link

    Yeah, look at this doozy of a paragraph in Google Drive's Terms of Service:

    "Your Content in our Services: When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes that we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content."

    Maybe I'm off base and that's par for the course for cloud services, but that absolutely kills any desire for me to use Google Drive (or any cloud service, if that's the way they all operate).

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