Giving Google Drive a Spin

Giving Google Drive a Spin

Google’s recently announced Drive and I was eager to take it for a spin. Despite the focus mostly on comparing it to other tools like Dropbox, my eyes focused elsewhere because Google confirmed GDrive is something more than just file storage:

“This version of GDrive is deeply tied to how we think about Google Docs. The focus is on applications — powerful applications — that let people live and work in the cloud, create and collaborate. We started by letting people upload files to Google Docs, and GDrive is an evolution of this. It’s a place where you go to create and collaborate and share documents…Users are not just looking for file systems and storage.” Sundar Pichai

So after catching my breath that Google Docs isn’t gone but merely now a part of Drive, my attention turned to three important pieces to Drive: Apps, Chromebook implications, and tablet potential.

Drive Apps

With Drive, apps are easily integrated into “Docs” for a seamless tool experience. This means I continue to create native pieces (docs, presentations, spreadsheets, forms) but also initiate and store third-party creations directly from Drive.

From collaborative video creation to graphing calculator work, this enhances Docs… I mean Drive in ways that will greatly benefit the classroom. It is early but I imagine more and more apps will take part in this integration strategy.

Chromebook Implications

Chromebooks have faced the offline and file storage criticism since their inception. With Drive, it seemed like Google was addressing these head on but I didn’t see anything official until Wired released an article with some great news for Chrome OS users. Essentially, Drive will be built-in to the Chrome OS and serves as a”local” file system.

While I haven’t given it a spin, I’ve been following ChromeStory and their explorations.

Tablet Potential

Looking at GDrive, I quickly began thinking that this might be where we finally see a fully functional Google Docs and apps working on tablets. The Android app shows continued improvements in this area, but the question still remains about how much growth will there be with iDevices. The screenshots shared by ReadWriteWeb point to nice strides there, too.

I’m not sure if this will be 100% comparable to a desktop use of Docs and Apps, but it seems Google has positioned themselves with Drive to make this a reality soon.

Other Cool Features

Despite the rumors, you still own your content in Google.  Start learning Google Drive today and see what you think. Be sure to give these features a try:

  • Grid View
  • OCR
  • Search your files via Mac spotlight
  • Google Googles

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