Google pushes more chat, collaboration features onto Drive

Cloud storage providers continue to try to outdo each other by adding as many collaborative features as possible.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Google is pushing out some more features to add to its cloud storage service Drive, which could be applicable to consumers and business users alike.

The latest update focuses mostly on fostering communication and collaboration by drawing upon resources from Google Plus, such as profile pictures and being able to automatically add contacts to Circles directly from Drive.

Furthermore, users can also start group chats more easily with "one click" thanks to a new chat button dropped into the interface.

At first glance, these new features seem fairly straightforward and perhaps nothing to think too much about.

Nevertheless, the addition of these chat-friendly functions are meant to continue boosting Google Drive beyond just a cloud storage service to a fully-fledged file sharing and collaboration platform, whether it be for work or play. It's not enough just to offer somewhere to store files for free (at least up to 5GB).

There have been some similar but slightly different stabs at this from competitors. For example, Dropbox recently purchased Mailbox, a popular iOS Gmail client, which adds an entirely new service to that platform.

Evernote also continually builds up its portfolio with a variety of file clipping and "memory saving" apps. Some of those efforts include stepping up its Business service, a standalone app dedicated to food, and possibly dabbling with hardware.

Screenshot via The Google Drive blog

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