Google Drive announcement brings mixed reactions

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Google recently unveiled its newest addition to its product line, Google Drive. The service, released on Tuesday, offers users the ability to upload various documents and files Google’s cloud, making them available from any computer.

Google Drive gives each user 5 GB of free storage space, with additional storage starting at $2.50 a month. Files that are part of Google Docs and Picassa do not count towards this storage unit.

Kelly Orgill, a junior studying public relations at BYU, has been using Gmail since 2004. She said her favorite aspect of Gmail is its search features. Orgill loves to cook but does not own a cookbook. Instead, she emails herself the recipes and then searches for them on her phone, easily accessing them without taking her laptop into the kitchen.

“To me, Google Drive is not earthshaking,” Orgill said. “It just makes sense.”

Although many are excited to use Google’s new service, several people are concerned about Google’s privacy agreements and are worried that it could jeopardize sensitive files. Users who upload items to Google Drive have the option to change privacy settings for each file, but several articles posted throughout Twitter have warned that public files uploaded to Google Drive could be used in future marketing materials.

Justin Romack, owner of Ontempo Ideas in Bryan, Texas, is no stranger to Google’s services. He provides digital marketing, social media and blogging services to various brands and companies, and said that anyone creating digital content must be able to “cozy up” to services like Google Plus and Google Analytics. However, he said that everything Google does is centered on improving their search engine, which is their main source of revenue.

“Users aren’t Google’s customer,” Romack said. “They are [Google’s] product.”

Plenty of individuals are signing up for Google Drive despite privacy concerns, and Google said it plans on releasing mobile apps for the service in the near future, allowing users to upload and access files from their phones and tablets.

Orgill said the biggest advantage to using this service is having all her files linked to her Gmail address.

“I only need to remember one password to access everything I need,” she said.

For those wondering how Google’s new service works, Google Drive tutorials highlight the benefits to student users as well as where to sign up. A YouTube video also gives an overview.

Do you have something to say about Google Drive? Share your questions and comments with us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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