Usually when Google rolls something new out, I have to be talked into trying it.Â Iâ€™m somewhere in between an early adopter and a laggard. By the time I try something, I want the beta bugs to be worked out, but I donâ€™t want to be the last (or the oldest, for that matter) member of my team to try it.
I started seeing the buzz about Google Drive this morning and immediately ignored it because I thought it related to Googleâ€™s driverless car. Which I must admit is pretty cool, but since Iâ€™m not in the market for a new car, and Google isnâ€™t in the market of actually selling George Jetson-esqe cars, I didnâ€™t pay much attention.
But then one of my favorite All Things D tech writers, Liz Gannes, posted an article on Google+: Meet Google Drive: Specs and Screen Shots, and I immediately thought â€“ I donâ€™t want this, I NEED this.
Three months ago I dropped my external hard drive on a tile floor, resulting in a string of obscenities, followed by uncontrollable sobbing, then the very sad realization that 5 years of photos were not worth the $1,500 that manufacturer so kindly offered to take from me to â€śpossiblyâ€ť recover my data. I also realized that a backup hard drive is not actually a â€śbackupâ€ť hard drive if itâ€™s the only place where your data is stored.
So all it took was for me to read these words â€ś5 gigabytes of free storageâ€ť and I was immediately clicking the big blue â€śDownload Google Drive for PCâ€ť button. Then I started reading more about what it was all about. Here are some highlights:
- Each Google Drive includes 5 gigabytes of free storage, you can pay for up to 16 terabytes.
- Google Drive creates a folder on your Mac, PC or Android phone, you put your files in the folder, it automatically syncs.
- Share your files from any device.
- Search document files by keyword Â and search scanned text on images, or even find images based on descriptions.
Cons? Itâ€™s Google, itâ€™s free – yes there are cons.
- If youâ€™re using Google Docs, Google Drive will replace your Docs tab, and move things around.
- Although Googleâ€™s terms state that you retain ownership of your content, it also states that:
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.
Thatâ€™s a pretty big con.
I know there are plenty of other cloud storage services out there (Dropbox, iCloud, SkyDrive to name a few). But the integration with Google Docs appeals to me, as does the idea of not having to signup with yet another service.Â At least Iâ€™ll know the few photos I have remaining that werenâ€™t on my paperweight/defunct external hard drive will now be backed up. Iâ€™ll just have to cross my fingers that Google doesnâ€™t have tile floors in its server farms.
Learn more at Google Drive.