Google plans to launch its long rumored Google Drive service next week, according to the draft release The Next Web has received from one of Google’s partner.
The Next Web has provided the following details about Google’s upcoming cloud-based service, which will compete with cloud based services like Dropbox and to a limited extent with Apple’s iCloud service that was launched in October last year.
It’s no surprise that it will roll out for free. What’s interesting though is that Google is planning to start everyone with 5 GB of storage. Of course you can buy more, but that trumps Dropbox’s 2 GB that is included with every account.
What’s also interesting is the wording related to how the system will work. It’s been long-thought that Windows integration will come easy, but that getting the Google Drive icon into the Mac a la Dropbox would be a bit harder. From what we’re reading, Google Drive will work “in desktop folders” on both Mac and Windows machines, which still leaves the operation question unanswered.
Users will be able to access the file via the web browser or via native applications that will be available for Mac, Windows, Android and iOS.
John Biggs of TechCrunch has even managed to download the OS X app for Google Drive.
I’ve been able to download and run the app and it is currently idle, sitting quietly in the corner, unable to connect to the mothership.
The version we were given is 1.0.2891 and seems to run without issue. I was able to log in using my Gmail account and I suppose I’ll have to wait to play with it further. It currently throws an error stating that “Google Drive is not yet enabled for your account.”
While it will be quite cool if Google Drive works within local file browsers on a Windows PC or Mac like Dropbox’s desktop client, it remains to be seen how useful Google Drive will be for iOS and Android based device users. While we expect Google Drive to be deeply integrated in Android in the future, if not from the day of the launch, Google Drive probably will be quite limited for iOS device users due to restrictions enforced by the App Store, which Google co-founder Sergey Brin recently called a walled garden, which posed the biggest threat to the open internet.
The Next Web speculates that Google will launch the Google Drive service next week either on Tuesday or Wednesday. As always, we’ll let you know if we’ve any further updates.