Cyberspace has been throbbing to the sounds of jungle drums as rumours abound that Google will be launching its Drive cloud storage service in April. GDrive has been the subject of scandal, gossip and rumour for around 18 months or so so no-one can accuse the Big G of rushing into things.
Maybe they have learnt a lesson from Buzz and Wave! I read somewhere, I think it might have been TechCrunch but they are not usually off the mark, that Google will be offering an initial 2gb of free space to bring it into line with Dropbox’s 2gb free account. If this is the case my response is unprintable! (edit: the week’s rumour mill has it at 5gb).
Size Isn’t Everything!
I have no idea how much of my free space permitted on Google’s GMail I have used but it is minimal and I cannot perceive that Google would be so stupid as to offer anything so low as 2gb – but I guess that brings us back to Buzz and Wave again! SugarSync and Box both offer a 5gb basic account for free and it seems largely forgotten that Microsoft’s SkyDrive has a whopping 25gb of free space to eat up your photographs, files, MP3s, etc.
I feel that anything less than 10gb would be suicide and if Google was to come in with 5gb to match SugarSync et al then there will have to be some pretty snazzy side benefits to warrant that approach. Personally I won’t be switching from my paid for premium SugarSync account but I can see that some people might be tempted if Google offered 10gb but, as the more sensitive males might put it, size isn’t everything!
For example, I keep a basic, free 5gb account on Box. As a cloud blogger I need to keep a close eye on things and when I updated my Box Android app a couple of weeks ago it appears that Box has given me 50gb of space. I guess anyone’s first impression would be “wow” but there is a drawback. While you can bulk upload files you can only download them one at a time.So if you place 200 holiday snaps up there and suddenly want to download them for whatever reason you have your work cut out!
To me one of the key factors of cloud storage is file management, how to keep everything neat and tidy once you upload “stuff” and SugarSync gives me that in Spades, as does Box but the latter is aimed firmly at the enterprise level punters and even basic desktop syncing comes at a price.
Google Drive Wish List
I won’t mention Dropbox because, sadly, I feel it has dropped so far back in the race and there are others who think that the service is the mutt’s nuts and fail to mention anything else when they write about cloud storage.
So what would I want to see on Google Drive?
1. First, it needs to be 10gb of free space.
2. Desktop syncing facility
3. Flexible file and folder management
4. Upload and download of multiple files
5. Multiple file formats allowed
6. Smartphone support
7. iOS support to challenge iCloud
8. File sharing
9. Auto upload of photographs and videos like Google+
10. Integration/linking with third party services for extra security – paranoid! Moi!
So what do you want to see from Google Drive?