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Google Drive is here

April 24, 2012|By Michelle Maltais

It's finally official. Google Drive is here.

The reports and eagle-eyed spotters were right. You get 5 gigabytes of storage for free across Google products.

There's been tons of speculation, but here's exactly what Drive does. Google Docs is built into Google Drive, so you can share and collaborate in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. And you can access your content on Mac, PC, iOS or Android.

Drive can be installed as a folder on both Macs and PCs and as an app on Android phones and tablets. So far, no app is available for iOS, but it's in the works apparently.

"Once you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items," according to Google. 

You can also search different file types by keyword, by file type, owner and other options. Google also says that Drive can read objects in image files and text in scanned docs using optical character recognition technology.

Google Drive also has image recognition. According to Google's blog, "... if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up."

It seems Google is giving a heads up that it's not quite perfect. "This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time," the blog post announcing Drive reads. 

The upgrade options include 25 gigabytes for $2.49 a month, 100 gigabytes for $4.99 a month or even 1 terabyte for $49.99 a month. And, as a bonus, for upgrading to a paid account, your Gmail storage gets boosted to 25 gigabytes.

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