Thursday, April 26, 2012


Google on Wednesday (Manila time) launched its long-awaited Google Drive, a cloud-based storage service integrated into its other online services.

Sundar Pichai, SVP of Chrome and Apps, said Google Drive allows users to create, share, collaborate, and keep various files including videos, photos, Google Docs, and PDFs.“You can get started with 5GB of storage for free—that’s enough to store the high-res photos of your trip to the Mt. Everest, scanned copies of your grandparents’ love letters or a career’s worth of business proposals, and still have space for the novel you’re working on. You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month,” Pichai said in a blog post.

Upgrading to a paid account will expand one’s Gmail account storage 25GB, Pichai added.

Pichai said Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so one can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

It can be installed on the Mac or PC and its app can be downloaded to an Android phone or tablet. An iOS version of the app is on the way.

But a plus for Google Drive at this point is that blind users can access Drive with a screen reader, Pichai said.

Pichai also said contents on the drive are searchable by keyword, 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,” Pichai said.

Also, Pichai said Google can 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.”

“Drive is built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience. You can attach photos from Drive to posts in Google+, and soon you’ll be able to attach stuff from Drive directly to emails in Gmail. Drive is also an open platform, so we’re working with many third-party developers so you can do things like send faxes, edit videos and create website mockups directly from Drive. To install these apps, visit the Chrome Web Store—and look out for even more useful apps in the future,” Pichai said.

A separate article on Mashable said Google Drive can open 30 different file types within in-browser, “regardless of whether or not you have the required software installed.”

Supported file types include PDFs, HD video, and images from Illustrator and Photoshop, it said. — TJD

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