SAN FRANCISCO: Google has launched a new consumer service offering up to 16TB (terabytes) of storage for photos and other online content.
Dubbed Google Drive, the service goes head to head with rival cloud services such as Dropbox and Microsoft’s SkyDrive.
It offers 5GB (gigabytes) of storage for free. People pay on a rising scale for more space.
“The model is really designed at the core to help people live their lives in the cloud,” Google vice president for Chrome and Apps Sundar Pichai said on a conference call with reporters.
“Google Drive is something we see as central to the online experience at Google.”
Google Drive software has been tailored for Windows and Macintosh computers as well as smartphones or tablets powered by Google-backed Android software.
A version tailored for Apple mobile gadgets will be released soon, according to Pichai.
“We want to make sure that all our users’ data are available wherever they are,” he said.
Google Drive data can be reached from various devices, and deleting it from one deletes it from all. Scanned letters can be saved under the new service and Fax messages can be sent or received.
Google Docs online text program was described as an integral component of Drive, letting people create and collaborate on documents.
Google put its search expertise to work to provide tools for people to quickly find files in their Drive accounts, according to Pichai. Included was Goggle technology to power searches using images instead of key words.
Autodesk and some other third-party program creators have collaborated with Google to make it possible for people to use their software in Drive accounts, where teams can join forces online to handle projects.
Talk about creating a Google Drive started about five years ago.
The booming trend of smartphones or tablets being at the center of mobile lifestyles and the growing popularity of services like Gmail or YouTube hosted in the Internet cloud made the time ripe for Google Drive, executives said.
Google Drive will also be built into a new generation of Chrome laptop computers.