Google launches Google Drive with free 5GB cloud storage

Google today launched Google Drive which the company describes as “a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you’re working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive. You can upload and access all of your files, including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and beyond.”

With Google Drive, you can:
• Create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. 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.

• Store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). All your stuff is just… there. You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices. You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and can download the Drive app to your Android phone or tablet. Google is also working hard on a Drive app for your iOS devices. And regardless of platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader.

• Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping. You can search for a word from the text of the actual article. Google also uses 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 Google expects it to get better over time.

You can get started with 5GB of storage for free. You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB.

More info here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, um… no. We can barely stand to let Spotlight index our files, thanks.

Related article:
Mossberg reviews Google Drive: ‘I like it’ – April 24, 2012


  1. Incredibly vague. I see no details on how this actually works. Is it a folder on my computer like Dropbox? Or do I have to go through some kind of tedious, ugly web interface to upload the stuff? Dropbox is awesome because it is so simple and transparent. I’m not sure about this. And do we really want google knowing all our files?

  2. Look at the fine print….they index your data and files for you so that you can search easily. How kind of them.

    I liked Gruber’s comment of this morning

    “Sure, I trust Google to index the contents of all my files. Why not?”

  3. Someone said this many times here.

    If you believe you are Google’s customer (as in, “customer is king”, or “customer is always right”), then ask yourself, how much are you paying Google for the service you’re getting. If you are paying nothing, then the customer is someone else (the one actually paying for the service you are getting) and YOU are the product that Google is selling to its PAYING customers.

    With Apple, you are NOT a product, since Apple is NOT selling you to anyone else. When you buy Apple’s hardware, you pay a beefy profit margin, so that Apple can then offer you these other services (iLife, iCloud, etc) without asking for more money.

    I don’t want to be a product to be sold.

  4. All those who point out that trusting Google with our files is insane are right, of course, BUT it is beyond pathetic that Apple has NO SOLUTION for collaboration or sharing files with others in the cloud. iCloud offers absolutely nothing in that regard and is NOT EVEN CLOSE to what is needed. Hopefully, Apple is saving an ace up its sleeve that it will announce at the official release of Mountain Lion–along with an upgraded iWork suite with cloud functionality!

    1. Your hope will be in vain. Apple has had, for many years, a simple collaboration solution useful for broad sharing of any file type under MobileMe called iDisk. It was just like DropBox and integrating it into iCloud would have been dead easy if they wanted to do it. Technically iDisk is still operating, but they are cancelling MobileMe in June and all its services/abilities in favor of the feature-reduced iCloud.

  5. Yeah, I don’t trust Google with my docs, either (OCRing my scanned images–gee, thanks). But I hope maybe this will put some pressure on Dropbox to lower prices on paid storage, ’cause I love Dropbox.

  6. Interesting paragraph from Google Drive’s TOS:

    “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. The rights you grant in this license are for the limited purpose of operating, promoting, and improving our Services, and to develop new ones. This license continues even if you stop using our Services (for example, for a business listing you have added to Google Maps).”

  7. Neither drop box, or the m$ solution claim rights to your information. Google is claiming complete rights, even if you cancel the service at a later date. Anyone giving their rights away to that degree deserves what they get, or lose in this case.

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