Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Google Drive Review (Windows)

So, the long awaited Google Drive has finally been released but unfortunately Google have decided not to release a Linux client yet. They do hint that a Linux client is in the making and will be along soon but with Google being such Linux advocates and using their own version of Ubuntu internally, I would have thought the Linux client would have been available on release.

On a positive note though, I used Google Apps for my emails and usually us Google Apps users have to wait a while longer to get new Google features but it's great to see that Google Drive is available for Google Apps users from the start.

So because there is no Linux client, I've powered up my Windows 7 install (for the first time in months) and after some time of running Windows updates etc I now have Google Drive installed and working on my Windows 7 box.

What is Google Drive?
Well, Google Drive is basically Googles answer to Dropbox or Ubuntu One (U1) - it syncs files and folders to the cloud and between machines and mobile devices. 

Is it any good?
Well that's a tough question to answer, in my opinion it's nothing special, it syncs your Google Docs to your machine but when you click on a Google Doc icon it still opens it in your browser as usual. To me this isn't very good. At the very least I would have liked to have seen the document open in a cut down browser window so that it looks like a separate application. With it just opening in your browser as a normal Google Doc then I really don't see the point in syncing them to your computer.

Other documents are a different matter though, Google Drive will sync them between machines but when you try to open them in the wen interface all you see is a preview, you cannot edit the document from your browser. So, if you are away from your computer you can't edit documents without downloading them, changing them and then uploading them again....just like Ubuntu One and Dropbox - poor show there Google!

Google are clearly trying to promote Google Docs with this tool and using Google Docs will mean that you can edit your docs anywhere but my question still stands - If you do this then what's the point n Google Drive? As you could always do this in Google Docs.

Google Drive does have dome advantages over Ubuntu One and Dropbox, you get 5GB free storage (the same as U1 and 3GB more than Dropbox), you have a revision history on all files (U1 doesn't offer this) and it is cheaper than Dropbox and offers better storage increments 20GB - $2.49/month, 100GB - $4.99/month & 200GB - $9.99/month. Also, if you upgrade your plan to a paid one Google will give you 25GB of storage in Gmail instead of 10GB. To find out more about Google Price Plans then check THIS LINK. 

Should I move to Google Drive?
Well I can't tell you what to do, you need to make that decision yourself but I personally use U1 and I won't be moving away from that anytime soon. If you use Google Docs for your documents or if you have a Chromebook then I think Google Drive will serve you very well but at the moment I personally don't see any clear advantages to moving away from U1 - but, I will be keeping an eye on Google Drive as Google will no doubt and more and more features over time as they do with all of their products.

Are you using Google Drive? Why not comment on how you are finding it.

1 comment:

  1. I won't be using it until there is a linux client; I don't use Windows at home or work!


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