Google’s cloud storage service Google Drive launched earlier this week and started to go live on Australian Android-based devices today.
Google Drive is compatible on PC and Mac, with an iOS app coming soon.
Default storage is 5GB for free. Higher tiers are 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month and 1TB for $49.99/month. Gmail account storage grows to 25GB with paid tiers.
Microsoft’s similar service SkyDrive offers 25GB for free for current SkyDrive users and 7 GB for new accounts. Paid tiers include extra 20GB on top of the base quota for $10/year, an extra 50GB for $25/year and an extra 100GB for $50/year.
BitDefender’s SafeBox has three account tiers. The first is the free version which includes 2 GB of cloud-based storage capacity. The middle tier is $49.95 per year for 30GB and the premium tier is $89.95 per year for 60GB.
Other than the usual storage, sharing and collaboration of files, Drive has a few nifty tricks. Add and reply to comments, not just on word and text files, but on PDF, image and videos.
Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), Drive can search for words in scanned documents. Google Goggles comes into play with photo recall on Drive, Google gives this example: We also use 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.
Third party developers are developing apps for Drive such as video editing, faxing and website mockups. Google says that the ability to attach files from Drive to Gmail email is coming soon, it is weird that this feature isn’t immediately available.