Google Drive officially announced; 5 GB of free storage [Update]

After over two months of rumors, Google has finally lifted the lid off of Google Drive. It's the company's entry into the cloud-based file storage service business that already has several competitors, including Microsoft's SkyDrive, Dropbox, Box and others.

In a post on Google's official blog, the company details what users can expect of Google Drive. First, the important stuff. You can use up to 5 GB of storage space on the service for free. However, much like Microsoft's just revamped SkyDrive, you can also purchase more storage space. Paying just $2.49 a month brings the storage limit to 25 GB.

You can also go up to 100 GB for $4.99 a month. If you want to go all out, you can even sign up for 1 TB of storage space. However, that will set you back $49.99 a month. Any time you buy extra space on Google Drive, your Gmail space will also increase to 25 GB.

Google Docs has been integrated into Google Drive, where users can collaborate on documents inside the cloud drive. Google states, "Once you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items."

Google has also released a Google Drive app for Android-based smartphones and tablets and the company says it is working on an iOS app as well (sorry, no word on a Windows Phone app).  Google Drive also has extensive search features and can even search for words inside a scanned image of a document, such as an old newspaper clipping. It adds:

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. This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time.

The company says it is working with third party app developers to make software that will work with Google Drive. Those apps will provide users with even more additional features.

Update - The Google Drive account page has more levels of storage space available to purchase, all the way up to a massive 16 TB of storage for $799.99 a month.

Image via Google

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I imagine Google as something like the evil organization in Power Rangers and Google Drive is one of the Generals in the organization
On the flipside, Google can be the Power Rangers with Google Drive as one of the Rangers XD
(Imagines Google Rangers telling people to agree to ToS before saving the day)

Cloud storage, I don't need too much space.
For now Dropbox is fine as I use it just to transfer files between devices, a substitute for the thumbdrive.
I won't consider putting stuff to cloud or purchasing cloud space unless my upload and download speeds are super-duper fast.
If I do store things I don't want to sync and waste space on my HDD.
And theres the trust too.

Couple of minor observations: -

1) there's no auto photo upload feature ala Dropbox.
2) I uploaded an entire folder of photos,mwhich is good, but you can't see the queue of files awaiting upload, can only see three in the notification bar at a time.

Hardcore Til I Die said,
Couple of minor observations: -

1) there's no auto photo upload feature ala Dropbox.
2) I uploaded an entire folder of photos,mwhich is good, but you can't see the queue of files awaiting upload, can only see three in the notification bar at a time.

If you upload a photo larger then 2048px on the longest edge, does it resize it? My Drive hasn't been activated yet so I can't test it.

Hmmm just one day after Microsoft introduced the revamped Skydrive. Interesting timing

Honestly if I had to pick I'd go with Skydrive since it has built in Office Web Apps through the website. And while OWA might not be as robust as Google Apps, they work better with Office 2010 and preserve document fidelity better than Google, that's just a fact. Also Skydrive is cheaper. Now if only they let you use Skydrive as an online music locker on my phone.

Regardless I'm glad to see more choices in Cloud storage. Once my 1 year subscription with Dropbox is up, I'm outta there and I imagine I won't be alone. With Google, Microsoft, Box, and others offering better service for less, I have a feeling Dropbox is through unless they make some major changes (drastically lower prices for one). I wish I could cancel now and get part of my money back, but I have a feeling that won't happen.

Hardcore Til I Die said,
Not available in the uk yet, FU google. We always get left out!

It let me sign up, but on another account i tried to sign up on i am in a queue.

SnoopZ said,

It let me sign up, but on another account i tried to sign up on i am in a queue.

I've downloaded the android app and it just says your drive isn't available yet and there's a "notify me" button.

Hmm,i have 3 backup copies of whatever in my pocket for 30$ and no one can read them and they are always online :-)

Sasa_RI said,
Hmm,i have 3 backup copies of whatever in my pocket for 30$ and no one can read them and they are always online :-)

Precisely. The prices are still INSANE for something that costs practically nothing in bandwidth and when hard drives are less than $100 per terabyte.

At $50 per terabyte (for example) that means Google pays off their capital investment in less than 2 months per subscriber!

And that means that the subscriber would have to be dumb enough not to realize that for the $600 per year they are spending, they could have bought 6 terabytes of permanent, always online, storage for the same money.

Ridiculous.

Google Drive: A better way to give Google rights to your stuff.

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 we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content

Uplift said,
NEOWIN!!!! We need a gdrive+dropbox+skydrive comparison please (web, space, price, speed, apps, devices) kthanks

and iCloud

Skydrive also gives you access to your entire computer on trusted computers. I watched a video on my external drive, does google drive do that? All this boils down to is which world are you in and which one benefits you better. But hey, who said that you can't live in all the worlds.

DirtyLarry said,
I love DropBox, but $2.49 for 25GB a month? Yeah, I think count me in.

SkyDrive provides 25GB for free

DirtyLarry said,
I love DropBox, but $2.49 for 25GB a month? Yeah, I think count me in.

Or 27GB for 83 cents a month with Skydrive.

I'll try it. I'm still not sold on the whole cloud storage thing, but I've been using SkyDrive quite a bit recently, but I'll give this a spin too.

gb8080 said,
Great, and now they can read all your documents so that they can target even more advertising at you.

Doesn't bother me. Google doesn't read my email. I've read how it all works, it's automated, ads are generated based on key words in my emails, but nobody is actually reading my emails. I'm not that paranoid. Plus I never actually see their targeted advertising. AdBlock FTW.

Amarok said,
Doesn't bother me. Google doesn't read my email. I've read how it all works, it's automated, ads are generated based on key words in my emails, but nobody is actually reading my emails. I'm not that paranoid. Plus I never actually see their targeted advertising. AdBlock FTW.

FINALLY, someone who has taken the time to read how something works instead of just believing and or spreading FUD!!

Amarok said,
I'll try it. I'm still not sold on the whole cloud storage thing, but I've been using SkyDrive quite a bit recently, but I'll give this a spin too.

Doesn't bother me. Google doesn't read my email. I've read how it all works, it's automated, ads are generated based on key words in my emails, but nobody is actually reading my emails. I'm not that paranoid. Plus I never actually see their targeted advertising. AdBlock FTW.

I think many people have an issue with the fact they can read your emails and your documents. It has happened* in the past and could happen in the future. The only way to know who can access your data is to have it under your sole control.

* http://gawker.com/5637234/

Amarok said,
I'll try it. I'm still not sold on the whole cloud storage thing, but I've been using SkyDrive quite a bit recently, but I'll give this a spin too.

Doesn't bother me. Google doesn't read my email. I've read how it all works, it's automated, ads are generated based on key words in my emails, but nobody is actually reading my emails. I'm not that paranoid. Plus I never actually see their targeted advertising. AdBlock FTW.

Microsoft takes privacy way more seriously than Google because their business model doesn't revolve around making profiles of their users.

chAos972 said,

Microsoft takes privacy way more seriously than Google because their business model doesn't revolve around making profiles of their users.

I do hope that was a joke - I think most all businesses resolve around making profit from their users.

Depicus said,

I do hope that was a joke - I think most all businesses resolve around making profit from their users.


I think what he means is that Microsoft makes money from products like Windows, Office etc.

Google makes 90%+ of its money from ads, the more they know about you, the better ads they can serve, the more money they earn.

Frazell Thomas said,

I think many people have an issue with the fact they can read your emails and your documents. It has happened* in the past and could happen in the future. The only way to know who can access your data is to have it under your sole control.

* http://gawker.com/5637234/

That's not Google though. That's one of Google's employees that chose to abuse the power of his position, was caught, and was punished for it. There is a big difference between a person that works for a company abusing their position, and a company abusing it's position or condoning the employee abusing their position.

Amarok said,

That's not Google though. That's one of Google's employees that chose to abuse the power of his position, was caught, and was punished for it. There is a big difference between a person that works for a company abusing their position, and a company abusing it's position or condoning the employee abusing their position.

You're splitting hairs... "Google" is nothing more than a group of people (universally called employees). What an employee does on company time is considered the actions of that company.

Such as the doctrine of Respondeat Superior: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/respondeat_superior

But as I said earlier, some people have issue with the fact that the documents can be read at all. My example was just validation that the documents can be read by persons directly, not just machines.

To each his own how he chooses to handle his privacy...

Nah, just using common sense, which is sadly often at odds with legalese. I agree with you on some points, how one handle's owns own privacy is up to them. People can take issue with whatever they want, it's fine if based on one incident or based on the extremely unlikely possibility of something happens they choose to avoid Google. I myself take issue with people spreading misinformation though.

Amarok said,
Doesn't bother me. Google doesn't read my email. I've read how it all works, it's automated, ads are generated based on key words in my emails, but nobody is actually reading my emails. I'm not that paranoid. Plus I never actually see their targeted advertising. AdBlock FTW.

Even if it's only automated reading, it's still reading them. I would not like the idea of saving e.g. my personal correspondence even if Google only read it in this way. Automated searching can still reveal a lot - give up your privacy for a few megs of storage? Note no client-side encryption provided - compare Wuala or SecretSync.

I'd rather buy an external hard drive and never worry about download/upload speeds or trusting my data to the "cloud" (I really hate that name, remember when we called it the internet?).

Skyfrog said,
I'd rather buy an external hard drive and never worry about download/upload speeds or trusting my data to the "cloud" (I really hate that name, remember when we called it the internet?).

Don't you want targeted ads served up at every turn?

When I started using Live Sync (FolderShare), MS killed it. Then I started using Live Mesh. Now it will be gone and features like any arbitrary folder sync also gone with it. With Google Drive, at least I don't expect things to not go one step ahead, two steps backwards.

xpclient said,
When I started using Live Sync (FolderShare), MS killed it. Then I started using Live Mesh. Now it will be gone and features like any arbitrary folder sync also gone with it. With Google Drive, at least I don't expect things to not go one step ahead, two steps backwards.

True the Live sync Mesh roadmap was a desaster but it did not take 6 years :-)

xpclient said,
When I started using Live Sync (FolderShare), MS killed it. Then I started using Live Mesh. Now it will be gone and features like any arbitrary folder sync also gone with it. With Google Drive, at least I don't expect things to not go one step ahead, two steps backwards.

Call the supreme court, I am sure they will be happy to issue a ruling to make Microsoft put it back.

So you are saying Google has never terminated a service they were providing? Odd.

xpclient said,
When I started using Live Sync (FolderShare), MS killed it. Then I started using Live Mesh. Now it will be gone and features like any arbitrary folder sync also gone with it. With Google Drive, at least I don't expect things to not go one step ahead, two steps backwards.

xpclient said,
When I started using Live Sync (FolderShare), MS killed it. Then I started using Live Mesh. Now it will be gone and features like any arbitrary folder sync also gone with it. With Google Drive, at least I don't expect things to not go one step ahead, two steps backwards.

Google's killed a lot of products in recent times.

Skydrive isn't going to be going away - it's built into Windows 8.

xpclient said,
When I started using Live Sync (FolderShare), MS killed it. Then I started using Live Mesh. Now it will be gone and features like any arbitrary folder sync also gone with it. With Google Drive, at least I don't expect things to not go one step ahead, two steps backwards.

You must still be enjoying using Google Wave, Google Buzz and the countless other products they've killed then!

DomZ said,
You must still be enjoying using Google Wave, Google Buzz and the countless other products they've killed then!

Last time I checked, none of these products were related to people's data storage.

For consumers the price is an issue, but for business, maybe they figure it's negligible in exchange for things like OCR and other integration advantages? I sort of expected something like 25GB free, but maybe they don't want everybody coming to the party just yet.

I just bought 80 gigs of space with google. For what i've read who ever bought space in the old plan gets to keep it! $20 a year and not a monthly fee. That's cool!

selectiv syc. I mean cloud to pc is an advantage in comparision to skydrive.
Consider the situation that you have 200 G could storage and only a notebook with a SSD of 128 G.

I really like the idea of search and OCR, and that's where I think Google Drive will shine. In addition, the possibility to comment on anything. On the other hand, since I have a Windows Phone, SkyDrive integration is no match for me, and Office Web Apps are sweet (and also, more space)!

Wow, because I bought the 20GB for $5 on Picasa, I got 25GB of space!
Sweet, Windows software seems very slick (like Dropbox), loving it already.

NoLiMiT06 said,
When I click on buy more space I get the option of 20gb for $5/year not month.
That's because like me, you perhaps already bought space from Google?, I pay $5 a YEAR for 20GB too, but I'm not sure they'll do that in a year when it's due again

Exosphere said,
That's because like me, you perhaps already bought space from Google?, I pay $5 a YEAR for 20GB too, but I'm not sure they'll do that in a year when it's due again

Well I no longer have that option, when I click upgrade its the $2.49/month now...

Great!!!

How to keep your old plan

Google storage plans have changed, but you can stay on your current plan as long as you:
Keep your account active
Keep payment information in Google Wallet accurate and up-to-date
Don't cancel or upgrade your current plan

I think, like Google+, GDrive might have come to party a little too late. I don't use Dropbox, but come Windows 8 I'll be using SkyDrive and its deep integration with that OS.

Sure the Google fans will call this the greatest thing since the last greatest thing and the one before it, but I'll stick with SkyDrive.

The GDrive prices are good and cheap, but I think 25GB on SkyDrive might be enough.

Edited by ~Johnny, Apr 25 2012, 12:55pm :

A340600 said,
I think, like Google+, GDrive might have come to party a little too late. I don't use Dropbox, but come Windows 8 I'll be using SkyDrive and its deep integration with that OS.

Sure the Google fans will call this the greatest thing since the last greatest thing and the one before it, but I'll stick with SkyDrive.

The GDrive prices are good and cheap, but I think 25GB on SkyDrive might be enough.

Google name goes some way. SkyDrive almost never gets a mention in mainstream press, I've read articles in newspapers about the battle for the cloud, does SkyDrive get a mention, Microsoft, nope. They just get ignored for some reason.

Edited by ~Johnny, Apr 25 2012, 12:03pm :

oceanmotion said,

Google name goes some way. SkyDrive almost never gets a mention in mainstream press, I've read articles in newspapers about the battle for the cloud, does SkyDrive get a mention, Microsoft, nope. They just get ignored for some reason.

But A340600 has a point. With the integration in Windows 8, SkyDrive might just become noticed.

briangw said,

But A340600 has a point. With the integration in Windows 8, SkyDrive might just become noticed.

Yeah, hope so. It's a good set up. Pity they don't get that much credit for it from the press.

oceanmotion said,

SkyDrive almost never gets a mention in mainstream press, I've read articles in newspapers about the battle for the cloud, does SkyDrive get a mention, Microsoft, nope. They just get ignored for some reason.

True. I blame Microsoft and the press. Microsoft for not promoting SkyDrive. All this time 25GB of free storage! -- but not a lot of people knew about it because Microsoft didn't promote it (enough) and the press for being in Apple's pocket and for some reason everything Google does gets press.

So compared to Skydrive they offer less free space, and costs more than skydrive if you want more storage. Think ill be sticking to skydrive at the moment with my 25gb free storage

Chemaz said,
So compared to Skydrive they offer less free space, and costs more than skydrive if you want more storage. Think ill be sticking to skydrive at the moment with my 25gb free storage

I've setup my Google Drive folder as a folder inside my Skydrive folder on my Mac. It might break the internet but it means for certain things I can have a copy on two clouds by using one folder (and Skydrives 25GB swallows up the 5GB Drive folder nicely)

Chemaz said,
So compared to Skydrive they offer less free space, and costs more than skydrive if you want more storage. Think ill be sticking to skydrive at the moment with my 25gb free storage

Is there still a file size limit on SkyDrive?

Chemaz said,
So compared to Skydrive they offer less free space, and costs more than skydrive if you want more storage. Think ill be sticking to skydrive at the moment with my 25gb free storage

Sounds like a good idea.
I will be sticking with the 50Gb that Box offered for free to Android users (with the free 5 gig from Google and free 6 gig from Sugarsync as frivolous extras )

MidnightDevil said,

A cloud within a cloud... cloudception

Once I get BitCasa syncing sorted, it can contain my Box.net that contains my Skydrive that contains my 4shared that contains my Dropbox, GDrive and Sugarsync...