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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Google Drive announces long-anticipated storage service



driveicon.jpgThis week, Google has announced its new service -- Google Drive -- a much anticipated and rumored feature where account holder can have storage space in the "cloud." But already, there's hubbub over the language in the "terms of service" clause that many say would give Google rights to contents stored on the Drive. Google assures that the clause is standard legalese that gives the company the licensing rights it needs to deliver on services that users' request.

The service is impressive: Users can get up to 5 GB in Google Drive, 1 GB in Picasa, and 10 GB in Gmail for free. You can purchase additional storage space for a monthly fee -- prices range from $2.49 for 25 GB, $4.99 for 100 GB and up all the way to $799.99 for 16 TB. When you purchase more space, you automatically get upped to 25 GB for your Gmail account.

On Google Drive, you can create documents, spreadsheets and presentations, then share them with others. You can leave comments on anything stored on the Drive, meaning you can work together with others on projects. The Drive is searchable. It can recognize text in documents that are scanned in. The Drive even has image recognition so you can search for photos you uploaded by location or topic.

Beauty of cloud storage is that you can access it when you're on the go. You can install Google Drive and tap into it on your Mac or PC and Android phones or tablets. Apps for iOS devices not yet available but are in the works.

There are plenty of alternatives to Google Drive: Dropbox, iCloud and SkyDrive to name a few.

Information Week came up with some notable services  storage, backup and file-sharing needs.

[Last modified: Friday, April 27, 2012 12:14pm]


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