Interesting move from Google if Lucidchart’s screenshot is to be believed, and I’ll admit it looks very real and credible. So: Google will announce a cloud-storage solution called “Drive” that will have third-party support from day one.
I’m no fan of what Google has been doing recently, with the exception of Project Glass, which I am genuinely curious about. I don’t know why, exactly, but to me Drive sounds like a product from the other Google though, the one people don’t seem to like anymore.
We’ll see how the company will get around marketing this one. As a long-rumored Dropbox competitor, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Google bringing this to phones and tablets right away. There is no native file sharing and cloud storage solution from Apple and Google yet – one that brings meaningful, convenient, unified and integrated file management to mobile devices. With Drive, I assume, Google has a chance to build the file storage/sharing aspect straight into Android (which would work better using the OS' superior inter-app communication), and bring it to iOS and OS X as an app or web service. Google has a track record for baking its own functionalities into Android, bringing them later to iOS as apps.
I do believe that Drive will be available on iOS as an app from day one as well. The opposite would be quite surprising this time.
I have no idea what Drive will look or work like, but here are some ideas and notes based on what we have heard so far and my own speculation:
- Drive will be a file storage & sharing service similar to Dropbox.
- It will have a web interface and desktop uploaders. I doubt Google will manage to hack its way into the OS X Finder like Dropbox did.
- Drive will have smartphone and tablet apps to access and upload files.
- It will be somewhat tied to Gmail.
- Google will probably find a way to connect the sharing aspect of the service with Google+, which recently got a major redesign focused on apps.
- It will allow third-party services and apps to connect to it. This could be a pretty big deal depending on the developers and companies on board with it. Google could even go as far as showcasing supported apps like Evernote does.
- I bet Google has come up with Docs integration for Drive – say, it could add a button in docs.google.com to “open documents from Drive”.
- Unlikely, but it’d be nice to be able to send attachments directly to Drive via email…using Gmail of course.
- Even more unlikely, but still intriguing, would be the possibility of uploading videos to Drive using the mobile app, and have the video file processed for upload to YouTube.
- Last, an API since day one. Services like IFTTT would go crazy all over it.
I don’t usually write about rumors, but I also believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire – and there’s been some Lost-like black smoke over at Mountain View lately. Sounds like a matter of days at this point.
We’ll see if Google Drive has a chance to be a product the nerds can actually get excited about. I am no fan of Google’s awkward social push – they look like corporate dudes trying to look cool while drunk at the bar on Friday night, and they don’t even have a wingman – yet I can’t help but get intrigued by new cloud services, especially when they open up to third-parties.
The two important questions are: how far will Google go to “convince us” to use Drive? (“Starting today, all your Gmail attachments are automatically uploaded to a special Google Drive™ folder!”)
And just how much “social” will Drive be forced to act?