Big news from the Internet: Google unveiled the highly anticipated Drive today.
The service is Google’s take on data storage, and it does the job of similar tools such as Dropbox and SugarSyncy, only cheaper and possibly better.
“Google Drive [is] a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff,” Google’s Sundar Pichai said in a blog post
. “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.”
After its official unveiling on Tuesday morning, “Google Drive
” quickly became a trending topic on Twitter.
So, what does the service mean for you?
“It’s great for consumers,” said Edelman’s David Armano
. “For a company, it offers the temptation to be a way to work.”
Drive is similar to Google Docs—in fact, it’s been dubbed an evolution of the service—except you can store and share photos and videos as well as documents. That way, you can access and share the files on any device connected to the Internet. Drive is available on the Web and through mobile apps.
For instance, if you’re working on a project that includes text, photographs and spreadsheets, Drive enables you to store the work online (in the “cloud,” as they say), share it with others, and make notes.
If the service works, it sounds like an efficient way to manage projects with co-workers and clients by offering a way to circumvent attachment-heavy emails.
However, some companies don’t allow their employees to use services like Google Docs or Dropbox. Employees at Edelman, for example, can’t use Google Docs for client work.
It boils down to concerns about data use and privacy, Armano explained. (In fact, Edelman has a data and privacy group
.) If Google looks at your email to offer targeted ads, why not glance at your Drive files for a similar purpose?
According to Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal
, Google insists that no human can see your files. “And, at least today, the files aren’t used to target advertising at users,” he wrote in a strong review of Google Drive.
In the review, Mossberg points out something that sets Drive apart from its competition:
“One big difference between Dropbox and Google Drive is you can edit or create files in the latter, rather than merely storing or viewing them. This is because Google Drive includes the rudimentary word processor, spreadsheet, presentation and other apps that make up Google Docs.”
Google drives costs $4.99 a month for 100 GB of space—undercutting Dropbox, which charges $10 a month for 50 GB.
Drive, Dropbox, and others are part of the continuing “consumerization of IT,” according to Armano. The smart phone and tablets, both of which were targeted at individuals consumers, have become tools that some many knowledge workers use on a daily (perhaps hourly or minute-by-minute) basis. Drive is a part of this trend, he said. And it will be a concern for IT departments.
Here’s a look at Google Drive. To explore it even further, click here