We are living in the world of multiple devices, all connected trough Internet. Apart from the local storage, we need cloud storage to take online backup of important files like documents, pictures and in some cases media files like videos and music. It is safe to have backup somewhere other then the local storage. Other benefit of these services is to have access to stored files from anywhere using any device.
Apart from the big cloud storage services like Amazon S3 and CloudDrive, the small services are also doing well in the industry. For example, Dropbox (an amazing service for online data storage and sync) is really good if you want to have important files accessible from anywhere. Box.net is an alternative for online storage service which does provide features like embedding pictures, videos, MP3 from their hosted servers.
Now as per some reports on Internet, Google is planning to launch their own online data storage and sync application, just like Dropbox. Rumors are also flooded about the free storage that Google is going to provide with the application. It is not yet a confirmed news but as per these reports, Google may launch the service with name as GDrive in the very first weeks of April, 2012. Kindly note that the GDrive rumor started on web in year 2006 and still there is no such service launched yet by Google. In the meantime, Google kept upgrading their documentation platform i.e. Google Docs and Apps platforms.
Now based on the rumors, I thought we should take a close look on online storage industry competition and see if Google is having any chance to win the game here with Google Drive or GDrive.
Already have free storage on Dropbox, Box.net, SkyDrive. Do we need more?
Google is planning to provide 1 GB of free storage when you will sign-up for the application. It may be an increasing space just like Gmail space which keeps increasing daily by small amount. Whereas Dropbox is already offering 2GB of free storage accessible from anywhere. Box.net is also an amazing service with free storage offering of 5GB to its users for personal account. Microsoft SkyDrive is a great place for storing documents specially Microsoft Office documents or PDFs and is currently offering 25GB of free storage. Microsoft is also having Office 365 where you can actually have complete Office package online. Google itself is offering 1GB of free storage with Google Docs where you can upload different formats of files.
As web is already populated with free storage services, do we need another one? I don’t think Google can take a lead by just offering some free space (that even less than leaders like Dropbox). We need space on web especially the ones accessible from multiple devices. Mobile devices are now having HD cameras and we use 3G or even 4G connections to upload those pictures or captured videos to social networking sites and then take backup of them on online storage sites. Moving such files to Dropbox folder is really easy to do across all platforms. If Google wants to have a piece of cake with GDrive, it will have to come up with an easy to operate applications for different devices.
When the industry is over populated, you need to think of the limitations or issues (if any) related to the existing players. And if you can come up with a bug free solution or respond with an application which is better than others, you may have chance to succeed. Here are some recent issues or existing limitations with current players.
Limitations and Problems of existing online storage systems
Dropbox Security Issue – Few days ago, Dropbox faced a security glitch after releasing an upgrade to their system. Everyone’s Dropbox account was open for accessing their files and other stored data without their own password. Dropbox had fixed the problem in no time but it happened.
Microsoft SkyDrive Upload limit – Maximum upload limit on SkyDrive for single file is 100MB which is definitely not sufficient for uploading backups and bulky files. As per a recent blog post from MS, SkyDrive may see an upgrade in maximum upload size from 100MB to 2GB.
No official Android App for SkyDrive – Microsoft is integrating SkyDrive with Windows 8 operating system and they have done a great job on that. But the online storage system is not available officially for Android platform where Dropbox is doing great with its application.
If Google addresses these issues in its own application and comes up with better features than these existing players, it may see success.
Probable release date of GDrive
Some people are saying that Google may release GDrive on April 1, as that is the release date of Gmail as well. But as per GigaOM, the application may come later in the week, probably by April 2 or 3.
Stay tuned as i will update the post if anything comes related to GDrive or Google Drive. Till than you can share your favorite online storage place through comments and let us know why that platform is your favorite one.
Update – Here comes the very first screenshot of Google Drive (may be) posted on TalkAndroid. You can see that the shared screenshot of Google Drive is showing free online storage of 2GB. Now this Google Drive rumors are getting more factual, hope to get more updates soon.
Update 2 – Today, another screenshot has come where it is visible that Google Drive will come up with 5GB of free storage for each user and then additional storage on pay – purchase model.
Apart from the rumor and screenshots, the very first official edit has also come in picture where one of the Google Docs support page is having following text,
Editing documents in the Google Drive Android app requires ongoing syncs to update your documents, which can increase your bandwidth usage. Keep this in mind if you have a limited data plan with your mobile provider.
If Google Drive is going to have the capability to view and edit the stored document on mobile platforms like Android, then what would happen to Google Docs. Whether Google will merge these two products so that one can create documents and store them and access the synced ones from anywhere.
As per the source of TalkAndroid, the application may come around April, 16. We will have to wait to see when Google releases its online storage platform.
Update 3 – Google Drive is launched with 5GB of Free storage to all users. It may take few days for your Google Account to get its own drive storage. You can check that at http://drive.google.com.