Google Drive

Recently Google has come out with a new service called, Google Drive. In short, this is basically Google’s version of Dropbox. Google Drive connects with your Google Docs and syncs those files, and any other files or folders you want to their cloud service. They allow you to pick specific folders, and allow you to access your files from a web interface, just like Dropbox. Although you get 5GB free when you sign up for Google Drive, as opposed to the 2GB you get with Dropbox. But again, Dropbox has that nice referral bonus, and at 15.4GB I cannot complain too much about Dropbox.

One of the main reasons I am turned off by Google Drive is that I do not want to have too many cloud based programs constantly syncing on my computer. I have always been a big user of Google Docs because I liked the fact it was web based. I am not as excited about syncing those files locally, or having yet another cloud based file service accessing my computer. Currently I run Dropbox and Evernote, and am very reluctant to run more locally installed cloud programs on my computer. One of the things I like Dropbox over Google Drive is the fact Dropbox keeps all its syncing confinued to one folder. In other words, I know only the files in the Dropbox folder get accessed. Google Drive allows you to pick different files and folders on your hard drive to sync, and while some people may like that, I prefer to have a little more manual control.

Another drawback that I saw right away is, Google has not released a client for the Apple iOS. This means that Google Drive will not work on iPods, iPads, and iPhones. I am hoping when they do the client will allow the editing of some files. One of my biggest frustrations has been being able to edit Google Docs on my Apple mobile devices. If Google Drive can accomodate this, this could impact the amount of use I have with Evernote and Dropbox. However until Google puts out the Apple iOS app, I will have to reserve a lot of my opinion about Google Drive. They have already released an Android app for Google Drive, but I have not yet tried it.

So, should you sign up for Google Drive? Even after pointing out some of the short comings I have with Google Drive, you should still sign up for it. If you are already using Google Docs the biggest advantage is this is still a free 5GB for your Google Docs. Keep in mind it will change your Docs to say Drive, and the interface will look different. But as far as editing your Google Docs, all that will look and behave exactly the same. For that reason alone I suggest enabling Google Drive and then continue using the web interface as you always have with Google Docs. I know that is how I am using Google Drive, and unless the Apple iOS app allows for some great editing features, I will probably continue to use it that way too.

More information about Google Drive can be found on their blog, http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/introducing-google-drive-yes-really.html