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Google Drive Will Have to Compete Against Dropbox, not Apple iCloud

April 24th, 2012 by

google-drive

Update: Google Drive is out now! Experience it at http://drive.google.com.

Although not having said a single word yet, Google is rumored to launch its own Cloud Storage, Drive, service by this week.

On several places such as Quora and Facebook, people can be seen discussing about the features it might (or should) have. Interestingly, some people also see Drive as a move by Google to imitate Apple’s iCloud.

Wait a second, wondering what is cloud storage? Ask Mr. Wikipedia.

For those who think the same, let me tell you – You’re sorely wrong.

Google doesn’t need to compete against iCloud. It already has most of the features found in iCloud, integrated with Android since the beginning and, in fact, they’re better.

Google will actually have to compete with Dropbox. iCloud will only act as a mobile benchmark and Google’s job would be to outperform it. Drive will have to excel at areas where iCloud has failed and at the same time, learn how Apple and Dropbox have managed to provide such an intuitive user experience with their features.

My Wish List

There are basically five products with Android which I believe Google will take advantage of – Play Music, Movies, Books, Google Docs and Picasa. These, when combined with Drive equal awesomeness. Below is a small wish-list of mine:

  • share-with-google-driveLet me sync any type of file I want, no restrictions like in iCloud. Let it be a MS Office document, a Photoshop photo or a song, anything.
  • Remove Picasa from Android and let me keep my photos on Drive.
  • I also want Drive to store music and books purchased from the Play store which people can access anytime, anywhere, even in my PC.
  • Give me a folder to manage my files in my desktop like Dropbox does, I don’t want a separate interface for it. Keep it simple.
  • Offer the highest level of encryption for my files. I won’t want you (or anyone else) to read my documents as you’re infamous for doing so for ads.
  • Offer flexible 3rd-Party APIs, the reason why Dropbox is so popular among developers.
  • Don’t make it a US only product, please, or else I’ll declare Drive as a failure.

Right now, I’m a loyal Dropbox fan but if you manage to complete my above wishes, I’ll happily marry you. 😉

Lastly, Pricing

Google Dropbox
Free storage varies with products.
(1 GB for Docs, 7 GB for Gmail etc.)
2 GB – Free
80 GB – $1.67 / month 50 GB – $10 / month
200 GB – $4.17 100 GB – $20
1 TB – $21.33 1TB – $795
for 5 individuals

Dirt Cheap’ rates – yeah! Google offers storage space at incredibly low rates for all of its cloud based products and will, most probably, do the same for Google Drive. This will surely turn a lot of heads towards Drive, specially Dropbox users whose request for a price cut has still not been paid any heed since long (2 years, 5 months).

So pricing won’t be any issue for Google. Though, offering lots of storage space at whole-sale rates does not ensure the success of any service. In fact, it only determines a fractional part of it. Windows SkyDrive is a good example for this statement which offers 25 GB of free storage and is still rarely used. Reason? Apart from a massive amount of free space, it offers next to nothing.

However, when you combine cheap prices with great features and integration with major platforms, Google Drive does indeed sound a great product. What do you think? Will you move your files to Google Drive from your Dropbox account?

(3) Comments

  1. Greg Lange

    As with so many writers reviewing Android and Google products, your bias is showing. You mentioned that Google Drive and Android "already has most of the features found in iCloud". What features would you be referring to? In fact, iCloud has several features that Google Drive does not. Back Up: Apps and all user data. There is no native "cloud" back up for Android phones, except the small amount of data that syncs with the Google counterpart (Gmail, calendar, contacts). Device locator: If lost or stolen. Friend or family locator: Not offered by Google Drive and requires a third party app. All of the Google Drive features are available on iCloud. Documents, pictures, apps from stores, etc. Staying in sync with the data that DOES sync between an Android phone is not as easy as you infer either. The full and effortless sync android writers often refer to is only possible IF the user turns everything over to Google products. If you can't do so (work conditions and rules) or don't wish to (for security or use of other services), then getting that data sync can be problematic and takes more than a few additional apps and time to manage. In essence, iCloud does MORE than Google Drive. For the record, I am not an iPhone user. I've had three Android devices for the last three years, so I know of what I speak. A fact that will be changing soon. I'm also not a raving iPhone or Apple fan, and certainly not an Android fan anymore. Just tired of so many writers and reviewers that published skewed articles and don't offer sources or facts.

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