Google drives into clouds
Published: Monday, May 7, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 12:07
For years, Google has been at the forefront of innovative technology. Last week, in an effort to compete with Apple’s much heralded iCloud application that allows users to store files online, Google released its own version called “Google Drive.”
The advent of Google Drive hopes to showcase the company’s commitment to expanding its services. In recent years the technology firm has attempted to broaden its outreach, expanding beyond its search engine, and success has been difficult. Google’s highly promoted Google Plus social network failed to maintain the attention of its users despite its highly touted “circles” feature and advanced privacy settings. While many appreciated the inclusion of these features, the website itself left much to be desired and ultimately had no chance of dethroning Facebook.
Cloud computing has been on the rise in the past couple years with Apple, Amazon and Macintosh leading the charge. Even Dropbox and Sugar Sync have found success in the realm of the cloud and developed their own cloud services. Its popularity stems not only from a users’ need for storage space beyond a single device’s capacity, but also the need for instant accessibility of files from any location.
After its release last year, Apple’s iCloud has become the industry standard, allowing users to transfer files between all Apple products (iPhone, iPad, and Mac) seamlessly, something Google is hoping to emulate.
Like the iCloud, Google drive users will be able to access as much as five gigabytes of cloud-based storage for free, Google drive offers an additional 25 gigabytes for $2.49 a month and users who require even more space will pay accordingly.
Users will have a variety of options when using the new product, such as the ability to put the drive folder on multiple computers, phones or tablet devices. From there, any document or file in the folder can be accessed from any of the other compatible devices. Once the file is stored in Google Drive, it can also be easily shared with other users.
Google has also made pointedly made sure that searching for a specific file in the large “drive” database is not an impossible task, utilizing the same technology from their revolutionary search engine. Users can search by using a keyword or any specific word located in any specific document. Google hopes that this level of seamless searching will appeal to users, as other cloud services often suffer with a cluttering issue.
Google Drive does have some inherent setbacks. At the moment, the program is limited just like Google Plus when it was first introduced. Ardent supporters of cloud services will notice also that in essence, the drive seems like an amped-up version of Google Docs with a few additional features.
Google is hoping to convince its already massive user database to use their new product as its integration with Gmail by making saved attachments and anything transferred over email immediately accessible.
The jury is still out on the product, but Google’s decision to enter the cloud-computing sphere, often referred to as the “Wild West” by tech blogs, is only a testament to the genre’s burgeoning popularity.