Google Announces Google Driveby Andrew Cunningham on April 24, 2012 3:30 PM EST
Google has officially announced Google Drive, its long-rumored cloud storage solution that will be competing with Dropbox, Microsoft's SkyDrive, and other cloud sync and backup services. The service, which gives you 5GB of storage for free, is now (or soon will be) available to anyone with a Google accoun, including Google Apps users.
The Google Drive client, which is currently available for PC, Mac, and Android devices (with iOS support coming soon), works similarly to Dropbox: it creates a single folder on your computer that syncs your data with Google's servers and with your other synced devices. Storage upgrades are available starting at $2.49 a month for 25GB, $4.99 a month for 100GB, and so on all the way up to $799.99 a month for 16TB - the full list of price points is available here. Upgrading to a paid account automatically gets you 25GB of Gmail space, and will let the Picasa image storing service use your expanded Google Drive storage pool rather than the 1GB of space available for free.
The advantage that Drive has over Dropbox for heavy Google users is deep integration with Google's existing services; if you've already got documents in Google Docs, they will automatically appear in your Google Drive. Sharing, collaborating, and commenting on files is also built-in, as is a robust search engine that can actually scan images and PDFs for keyword matches using OCR.
You can find more information about Google Drive here. While the service looks promising, whether it can make headway against entreched competitors like Dropbox (or competitors with deep OS integration, like iCloud and the recently upgraded SkyDrive) remains to be seen.