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Shireen Qudosi

Why Google Drive Will Appeal to Collaborators

May 07 2012, 03:02 PM by

Cloud based technology may be difficult for the average user to understand, but that hasn’t changed its sky-rocketing ascension to mainstream usage. The average user is growingly dependent on cloud technology. Think of cloud technology as an easily transportable data hub that isn’t tied down to any one location. It can be tapped into, saved on and accessed from anywhere by any authorized individual.

This type of technology thrives in large data-driven environments, which is essentially why Dropbox gained its popularity. Yet Google, who’s lately been in the habit of copycatting smart tech initiatives, has decided to piggy back off of Dropbox by offering Google Drive.
What’s Google Drive Offering?
Collaboration – Going beyond just Google Docs, where invited members can view shared documents, edit and save, Google Drive is fusing real-time collaboration capabilities into its services that include features for discussion threads. Users can create new documents or spreadsheets, even presentations, while they work together in real-time. Collaborators can see what’s being changed, as it’s being changed, and work to be more efficient.

The application also challenges quite a few paid apps out there that offer the same thing. The Google Drive benefit is derived from the fact that many of its potential users will already be Gmail users, thus, instead of logging into another app, they can easily work from a single interface. Collaborations are also controlled; you choose the limits of a collaborator’s access for input. All changes are tracked with a history, so any file can be traced back up to 30 days, and by each and every document alteration.

Data Sharing – File sharing has been made easier. Users don’t need to mass attach documents in Gmail. Now they can send it from Google Drive, though this isn’t really any different from hosting it on Google Docs. However, what is quite impressive is the ability to open over 30 types of files and view it straight on your browser even if you don’t have the software – like Photoshop, Illustrator or even HD video. This is a big bonus that’ll appeal to many users. Users will also be able to share the app-based data directory from Google Drive by simply creating, opening and sharing a file.

Searches – Google Drive claims to have boosted its search filters by driving faster searches through keyword/type. Again, this was more or less already available; the only real difference now is that Google Drive can recognize objects and text in scanned documents. This shaves off some time.
What Are the Chances of Google Drive Succeeding?
Google is great with search engines. Yet it tends to stagger in other areas. Google’s suite services for website optimization suffer when compared to other free web-based services. Google+ also failed quite shamefully, while Google Mail (Gmail) has been the only other suite left with some functionality enough to attract hordes of users.

So far Google Drive is working to beat Dropbox at its own game by offering more for less, including a host of applications not yet included by Dropbox.

Google stands a chance of really losing again. If it succeeds in capturing Dropbox’s core and potential user base, it will assault its own ethical face. After all, increasing competition with an amplified product is one thing (like Facebook did to MySpace), but a blatant “clone” of another software service (as many are calling this) is hardly a credit to Google’s image.

Furthermore, should Google Drive fail to capture an audience as it failed to do with Google+, the results could prove damaging – losing Google a great deal of industry respect and trust and ultimately tarnishing the Google brand.

Posted in Tips & Resources, Online Tools and Applications

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