An Introduction to Google Drive and Things You Can Do With it

Saikat Basu

Google was already pretty much in the clouds, but now it has driven another pillar with the launch of its online storage solution – Google Drive. If you are a Dropbox user or any other online storage user for that matter, then Google Drive needs no introduction. If it’s your first time (attracted by the Google name no doubt), then Google Drive could grow on you and be your online store for every document including videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and more. Google Drive seamlessly syncs files across all your devices and boasts of some cool features.

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

Google Drive

Google Drive offers 5 GB of free storage space and paid plans which start at $2.49 / month that gets you 25 GB more (also 100 GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month). Paid subscribers of Google’s storage plan for Gmail or Picasa, automatically get 25 GB on Google Drive instead of 5 GB. Vice-versa, if you upgrade to 25 GB on Google Drive, your Gmail space also expands to 25 GB.

What Can You Do On Google Drive

Google Drive could become your centralized storage vault for all your documents on the cloud. Google Drive automatically becomes the home for all your Google Docs. In fact, when you sign-in, you won’t see Google Docs anymore in its traditional avatar. Your owned documents are located under My Drive while any shared documents are arranged under Shared with me.

Google Drive

As in the screen below, you can easily create new documents or create specific folders to organize all your documents. You can also drag files shared with you to specific folders under My Drive.

Google Drive

Google Drive lets you create and collaborate in the old way as Google Docs did. It also tracks changes on documents and keeps revision copies of up to 30 days or the last 100 revisions. Above that and Google Drive deletes the oldest versions. Each file shared or otherwise comes with timestamps.

Access Google Drive from Anywhere with the Drive App

If you install the Google Drive client app for your Windows or Mac PC, you can sync all your online Google Docs to your computer. You can be selective with your syncing – sync Google Docs, all of My Drive or individual folders, and items in Shared with me.

Google Drive

Google Drive is all about uploading and storing files in the cloud. You can upload images and videos easily by dropping them into the Google Drive desktop app. You can convert files to Google Docs format with the Export to Google Docsfeature and edit them online collaboratively.

Google Drive can also be accessed from your Android phone and tablet by installing the Drive app.

Search your Google Drive

With time, Google Drive could become your central repository. Google Drive comes with the usual arsenal of search operators that help you pinpoint your result. Here’s the page that shows you how to navigate Google Drive with search operators.

Extend Google Drive with Apps

Google Drive

You can install Google Drive specific apps from the Chrome Web Store. These apps can help you edit images and videos, fax and sign documents, manage projects, create flow charts and more. You can easily add apps by searching with “Drive Apps” on the Chrome Web Store. Compatible apps will have the Google Drive icon. Apps are compatible with all supported browsers and not only with Chrome.

This has been a brief introduction to Google Drive. There are lot many features below the surface. The best thing about Google Drive is that with a bit of management, it could be the seamless link between all that you do on and with Google. Tell us about your first impressions.

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