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Google Drive [obligatory post providing you my thoughts — READ TO END]

I think I’ve said this a lot… I love Cloud Storage.  USB drives feel so much like banging words into rock.  I’ve reviewed and showed you updates on TONS.  But amidst all of it, I’m a Google services user, and felt the mobile service lacked something that really tied it all together.

Sure, we had Instant Upload with Google+, Document storage with Google Docs, Emails on Gmail, Music in Play Music, etc… but nothing to tie it all together.

Then today (yesterday, depends on when I publish this) they launch Google Drive.

There had been rumours for quite some time now about it, and what it could do, or what amount it might have.  But they released it (I was pegging for the 27th it was going to drop, but… Google, they like keeping people on their toes).

I was one of the lucky ones apparently to get it right away.  Google+ went all a flutter with folks noticing their Docs storage was now 5GB and not just 1.  And when it was announced, you had to try to update your Android app a couple times before it would actually go.

 

All that touch and go aside, I had the app.  Yay me… my dreams were coming true of a Google services centric cloud storage option.

    

But wait… it looks exactly like Docs… really.  There’s not much difference.  Sure enough the names are changed… but I don’t see how this is any different that Docs was.  Sure, we get 5GB for free now, but that’s about it.

I was really hoping for a collation of all my google ‘files’ in one spot that I could peruse through.  What would be great is if it even mounted as some sort of ‘cloud drive’ on my phone.

Instead we have Google Docs with a Dropbox like desktop app to sync.  I won’t get into the desktop app (well, maybe if I have time tomorrow).  But in the end there is no difference than how we did things with Docs.

Not so exciting.  Ah well, at least I’ll go and get the extra storage space and cement everything in.  C’mon, space was cheap.  $5/year for 20GB (or any multiple therein).  It was the cheapest in my list.

I remember looking at that option during the whole transition period and seeing that it hadn’t changed (note, you need to be in one of my circles to see that G+ post).  But for some reason, I didn’t follow through with the transaction.  When I actually wanted to go buy space, I was greeted with:

Which is funny it’s saying I’m using 0% of my Drive, yet in the setting it shows:

I’m assuming the discrepancy is some growing pains.  Anywyas…

Somehow the usage fee for extra space went from

$5/year/20GB = 25¢ / year / GB

to a whopping

$30/year/25GB = $1.20 / year / GB

or

$60/year/100GB = $0.60 / year / GB

Now, it gets a little cheaper the more you buy… but even at the 100GB option, it’s more than double the cost.  WTH?

Yes, there will be those that say “more people will use it now”, or “they were probably losing money at the old rate plans”, etc… how long has Picasa Web Albums or Google Docs been around… and only now they want to raise the price.  Had they kept the old pricing I’m sure thousands would leave other storages to come to Google and buy en mass!

Yeah, the price is still approximate to the competitors (look at my spreadsheet below, I’ve updated it now for Drive), but what nobody is answering, and what really ticks me off is the price increase.  Unjustifiably in my opinion, thus far.

They’ve gone and said not only that if you bought the old plan we’ll honour it for the term of the contract (ie. the end of the year), but INDEFINITELY!  Had I only pressed that button today… but nobody will say why there was the price increase.

In summation?

Okay, so pricing aside… how do I feel about Google Drive?

It’s the same as Docs, and how could I not LOVE Google Docs.  I just have 5GB now for non Docs files.  Can’t argue with that.  Plus I’ll have quick access to the files on my computer now with it’s Dropbox-like desktop software.

So, I’ll continue to use it… enthusiastically so.  In fact you’ll still find I use Docs for a variety of ‘embeddings’ (can I still call them ‘docs’?).

And to those nay-sayers about ‘beware of Google’… grow up.  Saw this floating around the internet trying to scare people away from using the service by publishing this bit of their terms of service:

Sounds all spooky right?  Like almighty Google will steal your files, rob your children of their toothfairy money and impregnate your dog.

But they’ve forgotten one bit of the ToS:

found it on:  http://phandroid.com/2012/04/24/googles-terms-of-service-may-scare-users-away-from-google-drive/

So… what’s yours, is yours.  That’s the way I read it… and besides if you’re really that scared of anybody using something of yours on the internet, why are you on in the first place?  Ok… that’s over the top, I get it.  But still, enough with people saying they’re evil.  If you want to call them evil, call them on what they’ve done (like jack up the price of a pre-existing service), but not over some weird angle of legalese.

How are you liking Google Drive?

Follow Ryan on G+ I no longer write for AiC, but you can follow me on over to Android Coliseum Oh, and here's my shameless plug for more space! Minus (I've maxed out!) | DropBox | SugarSync | CX

  • Ruden

    its entertaining that the current ad on the bottom for me is for livedrive for $25 a month

  • Aaron J

    Not a fan of the new pricing. Wish I had upgraded my 5$ a year for 20 GB to the 20$ a year for 80GB before they switched it up…. sigh

    • Anonymous

      same here… the page was even still up when i switched to drive, but didn’t hit the button as i thought they wouldn’t honour it… turns out i was wrong

  • http://www.onlinebackupdeals.com/ John Tucker

    Considering how long it took them to roll this out it is pretty disappointing. Maybe if it had come out years ago Google Drive might actually be exciting. The new pricing sucks, but it is still cheaper than Dropbox, but not enough to make me want to switch from my maxed out free account. The new Chrome apps are kind of cool but again not enough to make me switch. Overall Google Drive will not make much difference to companies like Dropbox and SugarSync. 

    • Anonymous

      what new chrome apps for drive?  I haven’t seen.  I saw that Aviary has a plugin editor for pictures, which is cool (but I don’t often put pictures in Docs).

  • JC

    I must admit, even as a resident ra-ra-ra Google guy, I was a little underwhelmed too. I used docs as a convenience for online documents and as a backup for a few files from dropbox since the versioning was convenient. There were two outstanding things that appeared to be missing, one for sure, the other I’m still investigating :no Linux path(err whut? Android was a Linux fork!), and it appears that unlike dropbox there is no android ‘drivesync’ methodology, where the files exist as non-obfuscated files in a folder. AFAICT, the files, even offline, are only accessible via the Drive application. These both kill it as a Dropbox replacement for me, sadly.
    So, it’s free, I’ll get over it, maybe these and other issues get addressed over time, but for now, for me, it’s unfortunately not ‘Dropbox killer’, it’s just ‘docs plus’.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, the desktop portion was a real let down as I’m starting to play with it now.  I was assuming that we’d have our .doc and .xls files just sitting there but no… it’s essentially a link to the doc site to open them… 

      and for me, i have my computer set up as IE as the default browser (for my wife), so it opens IE which has her google account set up, so I can’t open the files as it’d be a file I haven’t shared with her.

      Yeah, Google Docs+ it is!

  • David Fradette

    its okay, I never used other cloud storage much before but now that its built into my phone and I don’t have to remember other websites and crap I might use it more. But like everyone else I am disappointed with the layout and features.

    I would assume when I upload stuff from my tablet and phone it would go into there own folders, but after you even make your own folders I can’t’ see a way to upload into a google drive folder when selecting images from the galley. Plus a automatic photo upload when on wifi option would be nice like sugarsync has.

    Will be hoping they make it better.