Google Drive review: Adding cloud storage to the mix

Google's new cloud storage service is a strong competitor, but not yet a winner.

By Preston Gralla, Computerworld |  Cloud Computing

The long-awaited Google Drive is a simple, useful, straightforward cloudstorage and syncing service that offers a full 5GB of online storage for free, with no surprises along the way. Utilitarian rather than flashy, it makes storing files to the cloud and syncing them among multiple devices as simple as saving a file to a local hard drive.

If that's all you've been expecting from Google Drive you'll be pleased. But if you were hoping for a Google Drive/Google Docs combination that would make it easy to edit files in the cloud that you created on a PC or Mac, you'll be disappointed. It may be that Google will get that straight at some point in the future, but for now it's a non-starter.

Easy to install and use

Google Drive currently installs as an app for Windows, OS X and Android. (Note: As of today's date, there are reports that Google Drive has not yet been made available for all users.) A version for iOS isn't yet available, but Google says it will be out soon, although the company hasn't yet given a release date.

Google Drive installs as its own drive in Windows and OS X, and is available via Windows Explorer or Finder.

After you install Google Drive on your PC or Mac, it shows up as another drive in Windows Explorer or the Mac's Finder app. Like rival service Dropbox, you can use it just like a physical drive -- so you can copy or move files to it, and create new files and subfolders inside it. The files and subfolders are uploaded to your Google Drive on the Web and are accessible there. They're also synced to any other devices onto which you've installed Google Drive. So if you edit the files on any device on which you have a Google Drive installed, they're synced to the cloud and all your other Google Cloud-enabled devices.

Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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