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Google Drive reaction roundup: It's good, but what took it so long?

Brad Reed | April 25, 2012
The general reaction to Google Drive from the tech press today can be summed up thusly: "We like it, but couldn't it have been released two years ago?"

The general reaction to Google Drive from the tech press today can be summed up thusly: "We like it, but couldn't it have been released two years ago?"

This sentiment was most succinctly expressed by Buzzfeed's Matt Buchanan, who began his take on Google Drive by nothing that it has taken "years of hints, teasing, rumors and speculation" before Google finally decided to unveil its cloud storage service to the public. And while Buchanan said that the service is unlikely to win many converts from those who have already pledged their loyalty to Dropbox, it will likely expand the scope of the cloud storage market by winning over frequent Google users who haven't yet taken the plunge and put their data in the cloud.

"If it works the way it's supposed to ... I suspect it'll be the first new Google product in a long time that everybody loves, in the same way they love Gmail," he wrote.

TechCrunch's Sarah Perez took a more caustic attitude toward Google's oft-rumored, belatedly released storage service, however, by noting that Google's dawdling meant that "other startups came in to fill the voice left by our drag-and-drop to the cloud needs." She also said that Google Drive didn't do anything to really differentiate it from its more-established competitors and thus might suffer the same fate as the Google+ social networking site.

"It's no longer tapping into the pent-up, unsatisfied demand for a decent cloud storage and sync service," she concluded. "People who use Google Docs may try it, but if they're already satisfied with the alternatives ... they may just skip it."

Cory Gunther of the Android Community blog said that Google needed to do more work on its mobile user interface if it wanted Drive to be a true competitor with Dropbox. The biggest issue with the mobile version of the service, said Gunther, was the lack of user control over how to best organize data. Instead of being able to create multiple subfolders to separate different data for different projects, everything he uploaded onto the cloud got lumped into the same folder. While the full desktop version does allow the creation of new folders, Gunther noted that it defeats the purpose of having your files available everywhere if you can't organize them the same way everywhere.

"I'm not seeing options to create folders or anything intuitive like that on the mobile app," he said. "Everything I upload goes to one central location instead of separate areas. ... With Dropbox I can send documents to a documents folder, videos to the same, app backups to a backup folder and even create new ones."


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