It was the worst kept secret in technology and last night Google admitted what we all already knew… it’s been creating an online storage solution.
Called Google Drive, it allows anyone to sign up and store their files, documents, photos, videos and more within the cloud – that means on a server owned by Google and connected to the internet.
Google Drive ensures subscribers can access anything stored on it from any computer connected to the web.
And while it’s designed to attract people away from the likes of the popular Dropbox, Google Drive will instantly become a success thanks to the millions of Gmail account holders who can use it straight away for free.
5GB of storage free
Anyone who signs up gets 5GB of storage for free and you can buy more space as you need it with 25GB costing $2.49 per month and 100GB for $4.99 per month.
Super users can get a massive ONE TERABYTE for $49.99 per month while anyone who buys a paid account automatically gets 25GB of Gmail storage too.
On its blog, Google’s Sundar Pichai, Senior Vice President, Chrome & Apps, said: “Just like the Loch Ness Monster, you may have heard the rumors about Google Drive. It turns out, one of the two actually does exist.
“Today, we’re introducing Google Drive – a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff.
“Whether you’re working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive.”
Google Drive brings online collaboration
One of the key aspects of Google Drive is collaboration. While Google Docs already allows this, this merges the two services into one place but also allows users to share and comment on photos and videos.
Google Drive can be worked from your PC or Mac while there’s also an app available to download for Android from Google Play for mobiles and tablets. An iOS app for iPhone and iPad is also in the works.
Drive also provides Evernote-style abilities to search scanned documents via the text it contains.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology means any scanned text comes alive and each word is searchable throughout the article.
It can even recognise images so searching for “Grand Canyon” would pick out all the pictures from your trip there, just by knowing what it looks like. You don’t need to keyword it.
More to come from Google Drive…
Google added: “This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time.”
There are also plans to allow third-party developers to create apps for Drive that work within Google’s Chrome browser including faxing documents and editing videos.
To find out more about Google Drive, log on to drive.google.com/start to sign up.