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GoogleApps_May14_CGoogle recently released its cloud storage app, Google Drive. In a market with over 10 direct competitors, Google faces some tough competition. Users have been chomping at the bit to get their hands on the service and see if it really cuts the mustard. The release brought with it some interesting features that took many users by surprise.

Google Drive is being billed as a cloud storage app that focuses on collaboration and storage, and can be divided into three layers: Web, mobile and desktop.

Layer one: Web browser
This is Google Drive’s hub, where the majority of users will be accessing and editing their files. The big shocker is that Google Docs has been rolled into Drive. Your docs and other files will now be synced, stored and accessed here. Think of it as a beefier, more enhanced version of Docs.

If your business uses Google Docs, you’ll be happy to know that the collaboration tools have been migrated over. If you use Google Chrome, you can also install apps and edit files right in Drive, instead of having to download and edit them as you would with other storage services.

Layer two: Mobile app
The second layer is the mobile app. Android users already have access to the mobile app and if they had the Google Docs app already installed, they should have been notified of the update. Users of the mobile app can access and create or edit most docs as they would on the other layers.

There are currently two negative aspects to the mobile app. The first is that you can’t do any major housekeeping via the app. You can’t move files from one collection to another or start a new collection. All that will have to be done via the browser for now. The other downside is that the app is only available for Android users at this time. It will be coming to iOS devices in the near future.

Layer three: Desktop
You can install the app on your Mac or PC and when you do, there’ll be a folder on your desktop that functions like your hard drive. You then drag and drop files from your computer into the folder which are then synced with the other layers.

At this time, any files from Google Docs won’t be downloaded onto your hard drive. When clicked, they’ll open in Google Chrome or your default browser.

The Cost of Google Drive
Individual users of the service will get 5GB of storage for free and will be able to buy additional space for a monthly fee. For businesses who use Google Apps for Business, each user will get 5GB free, and administrators can buy extra storage space, up to 16TB, for a monthly fee.

Overall, Drive is a competitive service for users of Google’s apps and offers some great features that makes it competitive with other cloud storage services. If you’d like to learn more about how your business can integrate Google Drive and other apps from Google, please call us.

Published on 14th May 2012 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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