Google Drive has been rumored for years, but this time it is actually coming and going to be online in the next fewdays. As a Google apps developer, I can tell that the only reason for the late coming of Google Drive is that it is kind of against Google’s policy – managing everything online! Clearly, Google has realized the huge demand of the desktop sync tools from the success of Dropbox and iCloud, and eventually decided to step down from the pure cloud platform. However, Considering Dropbox has been very successful and got millions of users in the file sync market, will Google Drive be good enough to beat Dropbox?
Based on all the news and rumors of the upcoming Google Drive, we can get an image of it:
- Free for 5 GB of storage and can be easily extended with a very affordable rate.
- Available on most devices and platforms, including Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices.
- Closely integrated with Google Docs.
- Features and operations should be very similar to Dropbox and SkyDrive.
- Google Drive API is available for third-party applications.
Today, lots of people rely heavily on file sync apps, like Box.net, SkyDrive, iCloud
, SugarSync and the most popular one - Dropbox. We are happy with these tools because they can automatically sync our documents, files and photos across any devices and backup them online, release us from the hassle of copying and backing up files all the time. Google Drive is just another strong competitor coming to this field.
Now let’s make a comparision between the upcoming Google Drive and Dropbox:
Free storage: 2GB, plus 500MB bonus space for a friend invitation, up to 16GB(for basic accounts) or 32GB(for pro accounts).
Paid storage: 50 GB – $99/yr, 100GB – $199/yr.
Free storage: 5GB.
Paid storage: 20 GB – $5/yr, up to 16TB. Though Google hasn’t claim the price for Google Drive, I strongly believe that Google Drive shares the same storage price policy as Google Docs and GMail.
Conclusion: Obviously, Google’s storage price is much cheaper than Dropbox – about 8X cheaper actually! For any real cloud storage user, 2GB or even 5GB free storage is far from enough to backup/sync all the files. For me, 100GB plan could be my favorite choice, and I will definitely try Google Drive in the first time when it is available, just because of its price!
2. Platform coverage
Dropbox: Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Linux, BlackBerry
Google Drive: Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Linux (most likely), BlackBerry(most likely not).
Conclusion: Platform coverage is crucial important for file sync tools, because users want to make sure their files are always available no matter where and what device they use. Dropbox and Google Drive both cover the most popular platforms, but till now we don’t know exactly whether Google Drive is available on Linux and BlackBerry or not.
|Sync||Excellent||Should be excellent|
Conclusion: Dropbox is an excellent and robust tool to sync and share files, however it is not designed as a cloud document service. Google Drive is rooted and extended from Google Docs, with all the powerful online collaboration and editing features.
4. API for third parties
Google Drive: Excellent
Conclusion: Both offer API for third party developers. You can find Dropbox API here. Though we haven’t seen the API for Google Drive, but I am pretty sure it should be very similar to Google Document List API. I have been using Google Document List API for almost 2 years and found that programmers can do pretty much everything with it, for example, this Google Docs desktop tool is completely based on the Google Document List API. I am not quite familiar to Dropbox API, but after reading through its API document, I can tell that it is barely enough for basic file operations, but not suitable to build complicated applications.
In the end, from an IT geek’s eyes, Google Drive is actually a more powerful and much cheaper solution to sync and backup your file. I am excited about the coming of Google Drive and cannot wait to use it in my daily work.
Thorough review Jerry, thanks. I am a bit confused, though. I thought that google drive would be a rebranded evolution of google docs. How will the 2 products coexist? Will they, be synced ? Also, you should consider referral premia like dropbox. Take care.luca
Hi Luca, you are right, Google Drive is kind of a rebranded evolution of Google Docs. Google Drive actually is a sync app which employs Google Docs cloud storage. So, Google Drive focuses on client side and Google Docs focuses on cloud side.
just a test