So, Google Drive is live now. Honestly, has it appealed you enough? Was it really required from Google to come up with anything like Google Drive? Do you really feel the need for it? Opinions may vary but honestly, I don’t think that it was a bad move from Google. Google Drive may be seen as another feather to Google’s cap though it is too early to say the same. Honestly, I was never in a need of anything like Google Drive for a very simple reason. I have been using Dropbox from last few months and I am highly impressed with the convenience it provides to save and share my documents from anywhere, anytime. OK, it doesn’t allow me to store more than 2GB of data with its free plan but to be very frank, I haven’t felt the need for the same. At anytime later if I do then I will look for the alternatives where Google Drive surely would be my preferred choice..!

Google Drive, Dropbox, Box….you can use any of these service for the same purpose – save, share and collaborate. So, what is the major difference between all these services? Well, the major difference lies with the storage space which ranges from 2GB free plan to unlimited storage under paid plan. And as I had discussed before about the Dropbox, I am using the same at present on my PC and my mobile both. I am able to synchronize files easily between my pc, mobile and the Dropbox website. Though I haven’t been using it so frequently, it still serves my purpose to full extent. I can still opt for Google Drive as it has some better offerings over Dropbox and other similar services.

Below is a list of advantages of using Google Drive over any other similar service:

  1. Google Drive offers you at least 5 GB of storage space under its free plan. And if you need more storage, you can go for paid plans at a very nominal charge.
  2. Your Gmail account automatically increases to 25GB when you upgrade to a paid plan for Google Drive.
  3. Google Drive is integrated into Google Docs. This integration enables you to work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
  4. Google Drive can be installed anywhere on PC, Tablet and Mobile. Even blind users can access the same using screenreader.
  5. Perhaps the biggest advantage lies with the integrated search. Users can search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. The search uses OCR technology which can read texts from scanned documents and so you can then easily search for any photograph with a keyword which is same as the text placed on those photos.
  6. Users can easily attach photos from Google Drive to posts in Google Plus. Soon, it will be possible to attach files from Google Drive to your emails in Gmail.
  7. Being an open source platform, Google Drive is supported to run applications from third party developers using which you can do things like send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups directly from Drive. 
Well, looking at the advantages above…I have enough reasons to consider Google Drive better than other related services. Honestly, I wouldn’t have required Google Drive but since I have been using Google Docs from long, I am automatically being made to use Google Drive as both Google Drive and Google Docs are integrated into each other. Still, I am not complaining for anything as things are very much the same except few minor changes. Finally, you have to see Google Drive as a file storage service and nothing else. The integration of the same with other Google services is surely a welcome change as now one can easily save and share documents from anywhere, any device, any application..!
Now for those who are still clueless on Google Drive, below is a step by step explanation on how you can start using the same:

  • First make sure you have an account in Google without which you cannot use any of the services from Google.
  • Visit – https://drive.google.com. Here you can see the sign in button on top right hand side of the page. Log in using your Google username and password. If your Google Drive is enabled, you can start using it straightaway and if it is not then you will see a page with the message – Thank you, We’ve received your request and will let you know when your Google Drive is ready. You will be notified through an email.
  • Once you have been notified and your Google Drive gets activated, you can start using it right away. If you have been using Google Docs, then you will redirected to the Google Drive as now Google Drive is integrated into Google Docs. Google Docs itself has been renamed to Google Drive.
Google Docs is now Google Drive
  • On the same Google Docs/Drive page, you can download the desktop client for Google Drive. 
  • Once you have downloaded and installed the desktop client, you can start making use of Google Drive on your PC. A folder named Google Drive will be created on your PC drive where any saved file will automatically get synchronized between the Google Drive site and your Google Drive folder. You will also notice a Google Drive icon in your system tray. Clicking on the same will let you access various available features of the application.
  • Google Drive can even be accessed from your mobile devices and tablet. Android users can download it from Google Play Just one note, Google Docs Android App has been replaced with Google Drive App as now docs and drive are integrated.
Here is one presentation to let you understand it all better. The presentation contains screenshots of Google Drive which I have installed both on my PC and my android device. Hope you find it useful..!

So, here you go. I hope I have explained it all well though I know I have gone into too much of details. Sorry, if you are bored seeing so much of stuff but anyways, I am sure you must have found it very useful in the end. Google Drive is truly great offering from Google which cannot fail by any means as Google users are bound to use the same even if they like it or not. Also, I have been reading that Google may make use of your Google Drive files for its ad promotions. This is very possible with files which are meant for public viewing. Private files cannot be used for ad promotions. So, please make sure you know these things before you are signing up for Google Drive.

Now as usual, I would appreciate your thoughts on this latest offering from Google. Please have your say..!