Google Drive, or “GDrive,” Google’s long-awaited and oft-speculated cloud-storage system, may be forthcoming if the discovery by a GeekWire reader proves real. A user was said to have found an option to enable “Google Drive” on his computer with an interface very reminiscent of Google Docs.
Well, cloud-based, persistent access to all of your files no matter where you are. With no extensions, no apps, no multi-step processes. It works for you, and not vice-versa.
For years, Google has offered incredibly cheap storage–$5 per year for 20 GB. And there have been extensions for Gmail and Chrome in the past that have emulated how Google Drive might work, essentially allowing the approaching 8 GB of email space to be used to sync all of your files, but these are all work-arounds to try to leverage available storage space.
Google Docs & Existing Google Support
Google Docs already allows sharing of a variety of file types:
- Microsoft doc
- Microsoft docx
- Microsoft pub
- Adobe pdf
- Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
- Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
- Apple Pages (.PAGES)
- Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
- Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
- Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
- Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
- PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
- TrueType (.TTF)
- XML Paper Specification (.XPS)
Google Drive, The Myth
An entire array of start-ups have since blossomed since Google Drive was initially rumored years ago, including SugarSync and Dropbox. (I’m a huge SugarSync fan, but would consider Google Drive if for no other reason than the idea of convergence).
In fact, Dropbox is now embedded within Gmail, a fact that seems to oppose the rumor. How would Google Drive and Dropbox work together? Are both necessary? And how would it this all effect Google Docs?
Until it comes out–assuming it does–the difference between Google Docs storage and Google Drive is unclear. (We’d essentially be comparing a service that exists with a service that does not–yay for cautious speculation!) But if it follows the path laid out by existing cloud-storage programs, Google Drive would be big news, seamlessly backing up all of your data–documents, images, videos, etc.–automatically.
When you update a file, it’d upload the change automatically. Create a new document–a test maybe–automatically synced with the “Clouds’ over Google headquarters in Mountain View. Want to share a new curriculum document with your department? Email is so 2003. Google Drive would make it simpler. Have a video you want to share, but don’t want to bother with 3rd party programs like yousendit? Google Drive would have you covered. Maybe.
Google has traditionally shown a stronger sense of creation than integration–ideas over idea development. (Would love to have the option to upload Google+ Hangouts to YouTube; And why does my Android phone not use a Chrome browser?)
So for now, you’ll have to wait just like the rest of us and see what happens.
Oh, and then there’s this. Which probably won’t work, but the music is sure to inspire you while you give it a shot.