Google Drive service which is a Google sync tool for synchronizing files, was launched by Google in the last week of April,2012. This is an extension of existing Google Doc services and it allows to store and synchronize files between computers using the Cloud storage of Google Drive.
By default you will get all your Google Doc files on Google Drive Web Site. Google Drive can be accessed at –
After opening Google Drive Web Site, click on button saying ‘Download Google Drive on PC’ and install Google Drive service on your all Computers between which you want to synchronize files using this Google sync tool .
Once you install this Google drive on your computer, it will ask you to log-in using your Google Account.
Google Drive will either create a new folder named Google Drive on your computer or you can choose to sync any existing folder.
Concept of Google Drive is very simple and similar to Dropbox. Whatever you place in your Google Drive folder, will automatically be uploaded on the server of Google which gives you 5GB of free data storage space.
When you install Google Drive on your other computers and log in using the same log in Id, this Google sync tool will automatically download and synchronize all the folder which has already been put into the Google Drive.
After this whenever you make any changes in the files stored in Google Drive, those changes will be synchronized and will reflect across the systems.
Currently Google Drive is available for PC, MAC and Android devices.
Google Drive comes with many great features, which can be summarized as –
1) Document Links – Google Drive provides links for files stored on it, therefore you can share the link with anyone to share the file. As a result, instead of attaching a big file in Gmail, just upload the file on Google Drive and send the link in mail. Get a link for document by clicking on ‘Share’ button.
2) Searching and Filtering – Google allows you to find your file easily by searching based on different parameters such as File type and Starred. Click on the drop down button of search bar on page, you will find more options to filter the data.
3) OCR Support – Google Drive supports Character Recognition facility and can read text printed in Image file. As a result when you search for any text, Google can fine that text even if its inside any image.
4) Share and Discuss – By clicking on ‘Share’ button at top menu, you can share any document with any person. You can also have further discussion on that document by posting comments on it. Google gives you a notification whenever new comments are posted for your shared doc.
5) Track Changes and rollback – Google Drive keeps track of all changes made within last 30 days. As a result, you can always revert your changes made in last 30 days.
6) Huge Space – Free account of Google Drive comes with 5GB of free online space. This is more than sufficient for most of the users.
7) Access Files Anywhere – Files from Google Drive can be accessed from PC, Mac and mobile android based mobile devices. Very soon iPad and iPhone app is also coming.
8) Multiple File Type Supported – Google Drive can open around 30 file types directly on their page. As result you do not need to have Software on all computers to open and view files.
However there were few misses also from Google’s side. These were few items we found missing –
1) No way to sort files by ‘File Type’ – This is a very commonly used sorting parameter, which should be part of sorting parameters given by Google Drive.
2) No way to search within a folder – If you open a Folder on Google Drive, and search for a string, it will not show result only from that folder, it will give you a huge list of files from whole Google Drive. No way to limit your search to only your currently open folder.
3) Offline Google Document is only on Chrome Browser – Offline document can be opened only through Chrome browser. Google is going Microsoft way here, forcing users to use Google only product. Not a good news for Firefox users.
4) No Full Integration with Gmail – Currently Gmail does not give you any option to save mail attachments directly in Google Drive, without downloading it. We hope to see this option soon when Google will improve the integration between Gmail and Google Drive.
Overall its a nice facility provided by Google and with time it will be more integrated with other Google Services which will increase its usability.