So this week Google finally got round to releasing its cloud storage option, Google Drive. Within hours of them doing so the internet was ablaze with outrage over the terms and conditions and just exactly what they could or could not do with your files once they are uploaded. Many used this as the primary reason for not using the service and instead sticking with Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive etc. I have, for me, a much more compelling reason not to use Google Drive – app support.
I have just over 20gb of storage with Dropbox, all of which I have been given for free for opening an account, referrals, beta testing etc. I find it a hugely convenient way to transport and share files across a number of different machines and platforms. And yet I have never been tempted to purchase additional space ensuring that my usage came in under the amount of space I had. That was a restrictive way of working and so when Google were rumoured to be entering the cloud drive space I was eagerly anticipating their arrival as I have already purchased additional space for Gmail and Picasa use and it has been a cheap way of backing up my photos – I currently pay $20 a year for 80gb. When Google Drive launched I downloaded and was pleased to see that I immediately had 80gb of storage – which was a pleasant surprise as that figure didn’t seem to take into account the space I was already using.
But here’s the thing, if I was just using Dropbox to sync files between multiple machines then I could replace it but I’m not. Dropbox has a huge app infrastructure – particularly on iOS, my platform of choice, and the number of apps that have Dropbox seems to be expanding daily. Sure, Google has released an api and will encourage partners to support the platform but it is going to be sometime before the support is anywhere near the support that Dropbox has attained. In fact it has got to such a stage with Dropbox for me that I will make a positive decision on which app to download based on whether it has Dropbox support.
When Google can boast the same app ecosystem as Dropbox THEN I will be interested (providing they sort out those T&Cs).