Google Drive: Official, launches with 5GB free storage

Google Drive. After six years of rumours, it’s finally here.

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The details that recently leaked out are true. The first 5GB is free. If you want more, you can upgrade to 25GB for US$2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month — your move Dropbox. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB.

Google Drive will permeate most of Google’s services and is “built to work seamlessly with your overall Google experience”. Attach a photo from Google Drive to posts in Google+ or attach files from Google Drive directly to emails in Gmail.

It will integrate with the newly renovated Google Docs so you can work with others in real time (like you can currently do with Google Docs) on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. If you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on files and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items.

You can search all of your written and scanned documents (and images) thanks to Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Google can also recognise places or things in your images, so you can search for them by keywords later — it’s still in its early stages of development though.

Like Dropbox, Google Drive can be installed as a native folder on your computer. Put a file in the folder and it syncs to the web and all your other devices running Google Drive. It works on Mac, PC, Android and iOS is coming soon. Regardless of platform Google, says blind users can access Google Drive with a screen reader.

Google Drive will be an open platform with third-party apps being able to plug into Google Drive for things like sending faxes, editing videos and create website mockups.

Google Drive is slowly rolling out to everyone, so if you don’t have access to it yet, check out some of these videos in the meanwhile for a look at what’s to come.

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