Chromestory reported that Google may giveaway free 100GB storage space on Google Drive to Chromebook and Chromebox users. This offer is, however, said to limited to second generation Chromebooks and Chromebox by Samsung only.
François Beaufort, our learned friend who had discovered many Chrome OS/Chromebook secrets from Chrome OS codes, had once again unearthed something interesting. The text string ‘Get 100 GB free with Google Drive’ was found in the source code of Chrome OS. It was also found that this offer may be available to second generation Chrome devices only. So Cr-48 Chromebook users like me, or first generation Chromebook owners may be out of luck this time. The value of 100GB Google Drive storage $4.99 / month according to current price.
Second-gen Chromebook users, are you excited about this news? First-gen owners, would you be disappointed to know that you are not taken care of?
Today’s Google I/O keynote was all about Chrome and web. We are happy to see the arrival of Chrome for iOS, a new and better Google Drive and Chrome’s evolved packaged apps platform. Read more below:
Chrome for iOS
Yes, after Chrome for Android exited beta, this web browser finally arrived at iPhone and iPad. You can now sync the Chrome browsers across all platforms including your iPhone. Continue to read a web page when you leave the desktop computer and use the iPad. All the opened tabs could be preserved, not to mention your bookmarks. You can also enjoy the incognito mode for private web surfing without trace.
I haven’t have time to try it out, but according to the review by Engadget, Chrome for iOS seems to be a great product that brings nice features Safari currently do not have.
Google Drive also found its place in iOS. A few weeks after the launch of the android app, the iOS version is now available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch running iOS 5.0+. You can open PDFs, photos, videos, documents and anything else stored in your Drive, or download them for offline use.
Another most requested feature, offline editing , is now available on Chrome and Chrome OS! Currently only docs are supports, but Google said they would extend offline editing to spreadsheets and slide presentations later. All you need to enjoy offline editing is the latest version of Chrome or Chrome OS on your Chromebook or Chromebox.
These packaged apps are opened as if they are standalone applications. The application itself and the user data are stored locally. When you open a package app, you would not see the address bar, tabs and other browser features. You can treat packaged apps as native local apps written in web languages, or simply “modified web apps”. A typical package app looks like this:
Google launched Google Drive on 24 Apr. I believe it is a significant step that takes cloud living and working into a new era. In this article I shall briefly introduce what Google Drive is, how to use it and what killer features does it have.
Currently Google Drive is not fully opened to all users. If you go to http://drive.google.com, chances are you would see the following screen. Note the “Your Google Drive is not ready yet” message and the “Notify me” button (top right corner). From here you could ask Google to send you an activation email.
It may take hours or days to receive Google’s welcome email, which looks like this:
Basically Google Drive is an upgrade of Google Docs. It doesn’t look much different from Google Docs. You can use it the same way as Google Docs, there is not much of the user interface to learn.
But Google Drive is not simply a Google Docs with a larger capacity (Google gives you 5 GB storage for free). I see a few improvements.
Firstly, Google Drive has a built-in OCR function, meaning that if you search for a phrase in your Google Drive, not only would text-based files containing the phrase would come up in search results, pictures which the phrase would also be searched. Google recognizes the text in graphics form. Similarly, Google Drive also integrated Google Goggles the image search engine. So it you try to find “the great wall” in Google Drive, even if the file name does not contain the words, Google Drive could recognize the photo you took in Beijing in your last trip to China.
Secondly, just like Dropbox and Skydrive by Microsoft, the desktop app of Google Drive automatically synchronize your files between your Windows PC or Mac and your Google Drive. There is also an Android app and an iOS app is in the pipeline. This level of synchronization was not available in the previous Google Docs.
Thirdly, Google brought web apps into Google Drive. When I first entered Google Drive, I was asked if I wanted to use Pixlr Editor as the default image viewer and editor.
This is a smart move by Google. There are way too many online storage competitors in the market, the most famous ones include Dropbox, Box and Skydrive. Why should we use Google Drive if other companies provide the same (or more) storage space? By adding web apps to web storage, Google created not only a storage space but an online working space!
There is a growing collection of Chrome web apps that support Google Drive. You can identify these web apps by the Google Drive icon in chrome Web Store:
And you can add more web apps by clicking “Create”, choose “More” and then “Get more apps”.
I see huge potential in integrating Google Drive with web apps. Image editor, word processor, music player and editor, spreadsheet editor… All web apps could be ran on the same Google Drive platform, this makes online working and collaboration much easier. The Google Docs in the past was primitive, it only had basic editing function. Now when third-party app developers could create web apps that have direct access to Google Drive, more possibilities are created.
The launch of Google Drive with web apps also makes Chromebook a much more attractive product. Users can store all their files online in one place and have them viewed and edited in the same one place. Chrome OS + Google Drive + web apps is an integrated, independent and complete system. As long as you have web access, you have access to your files and apps to view/edit your files. I think Google Drive filled the missing piece of a complete cloud system. The cloud era has come, now in a more desirable way.
Finally watch this introductory video, know what Google Drive is and try it now!
Is Google Drive coming? While Chromebooks only have small hard drives, many users use Dropbox as a backup. If the above photo is true, perhaps Google is ready to fuel Chromebooks with stronger storage support?