On April 24th Google Launched Google Drive, which replaces and improves the functionality of the old faithful Google Docs. I remember how some good years ago Google Docs was the main (if not, for a while, only) online solution for document sharing and management. Google Docs was particularly useful for converting those once-nasty new .-x documents from Microsoft Office 2007, like .docx and .xlxs

By the way, along with this news Gmail has increased to 10GB storage, and will now encourage you to save large attachments in Google Drive and work with more modern sharing approaches rather than just sending them via e-mail.

Google Drive launched with a bang and boom, new established address is drive.google.doc. Google boasts that the new Drive moniker now encompasses all the features of the defunct Google Docs, plus an app that will work on your desktop like Gdrive, all a in a new fresh package.

The Google Drive app is also live in Google Play, as a downloadable app. At the current time, Google Drive is compatible with Windows, MAC OS and of course Android devices. Plans are in store for iPhone and iPad compatibility.

The main addition over how Google Docs workes is that all the files are synced automatically across desktops and devices. Also, it offers up to 5GB of storage (which you can use for anything, like backups or work .dat files, not only documents and photos) - that's a big boost from the previous 1GB limit.

Check all the features in detail here.

How does this work? Why do I need an app to be installed now for what was once all online?

By default, the desktop app creates a new folder for Google Drive, downloads all the files uploaded to Google Docs and adds shortcuts for the files created using Google Docs apps. Thanks to this system, the files download to your computer are available offline and can be opened using your favorite apps, while the files created using Google Docs can only open in a browser. If you use Chrome, you can also open some of the files offline. For some people, this will be confusing. Dropbox or similar software users are already familiar - and undoubtedly pleased - with all this.

So, if this pleases yours ears head on to the Google Drive

Needs more space? Google can cover for you: 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/mo, or even 1TB for $50/month. How do these prices rate compared to the competition? They are cheaper than Dropbox, but a bit more expensive that Microsoft's SkyDrive.

Google Drive integrates with third-party apps and one of them is already enabled by default: Pixlr, a photo editor. You can also install some Chrome apps that integrate with Google Drive. There's a new "open with" item that lets you pick one of the apps from the contextual menu.

Another feature which is noteworthy is the excellent integration with Google + (Google's response to Facebook), you can easily share pictures with the people in your Circles once those pictures are stored on your brand new Drive from Google.


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