Google’s fabled Google Drive cloud storage has just gone official. And just as the rumors foretold, users will get 5GB of storage right off the bat. The search giant on Tuesday announced the service via the official Google Blog, promising to give folks a place to create, share, collaborate and keep all their stuff — like any other cloud storage locker.
The thing about Google Drive, though, is that it’ll integrate seamlessly with a user’s overall Google experience — Documents, Gmail, Google Docs and, of course Google+. In addition, Drive was built as an open platform, meaning third-party developers can create apps for the service. You can access all your stuff from anywhere, whether it be from a computer (Mac and PC) or Android phone. An app is apparently on the way for iOS users, too.
One of the neater features of Google’s new cloud service is Drive’s use of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, which recognizes text in a scanned document. “Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping,” Google wrote. “You can search for a word from the text of the actual article. We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up.”
If 5GB isn’t enough, Google is offering up other options, too: 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or 1TB for $49.99/month. Folks who upgrade to a paid Google Drive account will also be rewarded with 25GB of Gmail storage, although Google also announced it’s now boosting the default Gmail storage from 7.5GB to 10GB for free.
It’s been a long, long, long time coming. Even Google had a laugh during today’s announcement, likening Drive to the Loch Ness Monster — that’s how long rumors have been swirling about the service. It’s nice to see the Google Drive finally exists. This is just the beginning, Google said. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m late for my Nessie Alliance meeting.
[via Google Blog]