Google unveiled on Tuesday Google Drive, its online storage system. Allowing users to store any sort of data in Google's cloud, access is through the browser or an app for Windows, Mac OS, Android and, "in the next few weeks", iOS.
Once installed, the app maps Google Drive into the local system as a disk drive, letting users drag and drop files as normal.
Google Drive is the web giant's online storage system. Image credit: Google
Each user is given 5GB for free, with additional storage is available at $4 (£2.50) per month for Google Apps business users, up to a maximum of 16TB. Private users pay $2.49 for 25GB or 100GB for $4.99 a month.
The system is integrated with Google Docs and other Google applications, and adds collaborative commenting to a wide variety of data types — images, PDFs, video files — for workgroups sharing folders.
It also has comprehensive search across many data types, with Google attempting to automatically recognise images for keyword searching, and adding optical character recognition (OCR) to turn bitmap documents such as PDFs into text files.
"Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner, activity and many more. Drive can even recognise text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology," Scott Johnson, Product Manager for Google Drive in a blog post. "This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time. Open more than 30 file types right in your browser — including HD video, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop — even if you don't have the corresponding program installed on your computer."
"This is great news for business," David McLeman, managing director at Google Apps for Business reseller Ancoris told ZDNet UK. "Google Drive will make collaboration omnipresent and part of a new way of working in business. It's helping change the face of the modern desktop; people aren't thinking in terms of operating systems any more"