The wait for Google Drive is over. After some false starts and leaked screenshots, the long-rumored service from Google was announced today. Android users can now get the app from Google Play. An app for iOS is said to be coming soon.
The Android app has much of the functionality of Google Docs (which it replaces). It lets users view, share and edit their files from an Android phone or tablet. One key feature: Google Drive users can take a picture of a document and convert the text into a Google Doc.
Google’s image and text recognition really shines here, as one can find images based on a keyword search, even if the image does not have that in its name. It recognizes many popular images, such as the Golden Gate Bridge or Eiffel Tower. Much of the rest of the functionality of Google Drive remains the same. Light edits, changes, and sharing can be done through the Android app. Other reports across the web quoted Google officials as saying the app was nearly complete.
Google Drive offers 5GB of free storage for documents, PDFs, images, and other types of files. Much like Dropbox, a desktop application is available for Mac OS X and Windows. Ironically, unlike competitor SkyDrive from Microsoft, it also works on Windows XP.
Google Drive is entering a very crowded space, with syncing options available from competitors such as Dropbox, SugarSync, SkyDrive, Box, and many others.
Google Drive users can increase their storage up to 25GB of space for $2.49 a month, 100GB for $4.99 a month, or 1TB for $49.99 a month. Upgrading to a paid account will expand your Gmail storage to 25GB.