How do I get started with Google Drive (gdrive)?
As a loyal Dropbox fan, I have been hearing increasing rumors about Google's new Gdrive and how it'll offer the same basic features, but include tight integration with Google Docs. I use Gdocs a lot, so I'm interested. How do I get started with Google Drive?
Boy, you're putting yourself in the middle of what's going to become a turf war for virtual hard drives in the industry. First there was Dropbox, as you say, then Microsoft showed up with its Skydrive, and now Google's unveiled its much-anticipated Google Drive (or "gdrive" for short). I won't write about how they compare because I think it's a bit early for that analysis and, as you say, you're already using Google Docs for document management and storage, which definitely suggests that Gdrive is going to be your best bet.
Here's the wrinkle, though: at this point in time, Google's slowly lifting the veil on Google Drive, so it's quite possible that you'll go to the drive.google.com site and find out that you can't download it yet but instead will be notified when it's available for your account.
Not to fear, because while you're waiting, I can show you all the steps involved in installing and configuring Gdrive on your computer, and when you are ready to download, you'll find it's super easy.
Log in to your Google account, then go to the drive.google URL. If you've been approved to use the service already, then you'll see this:
Click on "Install Google Drive for PC" and it'll make sure you understand that you have to use the Gdrive service in a manner that's consistent with the standard Google Terms of Service:
Assuming you don't have a problem with the ToS, click on "Accept and Install" and your computer will download a file called googledrivesync.exe. On the Mac it downloads a ".dmg" disk image, but I'll show you that a bit later.
Windows 7 will now warn you that you're going to run an "exe" executable binary file before it'll proceed with the actual download. Are you sure?
Click "Run". But I bet you figured that out already. Now it'll finally download the actual Google Drive software for the PC:
Once the download is done, the install program is launched and you'll be asked to log in to your Google account:
At this point I noticed that Google hasn't implemented support for the smart Google 2-step verification, which was a bit of a surprise, but I imagine it'll show up in a subsequent release of the program.
Now Google will conveniently explain how the utility works...
And Getting Started with Google Drive, 2 of 2:
I highly recommend you click on "Advanced setup" rather than just leave the default settings. If nothing else, it's nice to know what's going on. Here's what you can tweak:
Notice the tight integration with Google Docs. A huge win if you're already using Google Docs for managing your own spreadsheets, presentations, PDFs or other documents. You can also leave the default Google Drive location because the app also creates a "Google Drive" shortcut on your Windows desktop. Helpful!
To test it, I'm going to drag a file from my Desktop -- "pic1.png" -- onto the Gdrive icon on the Desktop:
As you can see, once dragging your file actually highlights the app, a helpful pop-up appears to remind you that it's Google Drive, not just a regular folder.
Literally just a few seconds later, you can see the file from the Web browser version of Google Drive, ready to download or share with friends or colleagues:
If you're on a Mac, by the way, the install is very different: you download a ".dmg" disk image, then when it opens up, you see the standard Mac install procedure:
Really straightforward in both cases, and on the Mac Gdrive also has a little menu bar icon and instant access to its featureset. Very helpful. Very similar to Dropbox.
By default, everyone gets 5GB of storage space. Not enough? Google will sell you access to more space as needed. The current prices are: 25GB of space = $2.49/mo (or $30/yr) and 100GB of space = $4.99/mo (or $60/yr). You can buy even more space, up to 16TB, but they don't list those prices on the site!
Hope that helps you get up to speed with Google Drive. I'm already a fan, and will be writing some basic how-to docs in the next week or two to help everyone learn about the ins and outs of this helpful cloud-based service.
More Useful Computer and Internet Basics Articles:
✔ How do I blur my house on Google Maps Street View?
I was poking around on Google Maps looking at satellite views of my neighborhood and when I switched to street view, was upset...✔ Create a custom vanity URL for Kickstarter?
I was reading some updates on Twitter and saw someone had posted a URL that would let me see what projects they'd backed...✔ Export or Save Subscription List from Google Reader?
Just heard that Google Reader is going away this summer. That stinks! How am I supposed to read my RSS feeds? More importantly,...✔ Shrink or Reduce a Photo File Size on Mac?
I'm trying to upload some photos to a social media site and it's complaining that they're too big. They are, as they come...✔ Can I organize my Yahoo Mail with folders?
I've been on Yahoo Mail for years and while most of my friends are now on Gmail or their own Web-based email programs,...
Let's stay in touch!
Sign up for my weekly AskDaveTaylor Newsletter and you'll receive even more tech and gadget help right to your inbox, along with exclusive news and industry updates. It's good stuff. I promise!
I do have a comment, now that you mention it!
Check This Out Too...
Look for Answers
All Our Categories
Apple iPad Help
Articles and Reviews
Auctions and Online Shopping
Blogs and Blogging
Building Web Site Traffic
Business and Management
Computer and Internet Basics
d) None of the Above
Google Gmail Help
Google Plus Help
Industry News and Trade Shows
iPhone and Cell Phone Help
iPod, Sony PSP and MP3 Player Help
Kindle Fire Help
Mac OS X Help
Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Shell Script Programming
Tech Support Video Help
The Writing Business
Twitter, LinkedIn and Social Network Help
Unix and Linux Help
Video Game Tips and Help
Windows PC Help
Find Me on Google+
ADT on G+