Google recently announced that it’s added a new feature to its cloud service, Google Drive, that will let users more easily launch files that they’ve saved in the cloud. The “catch” is that this new feature is available only as an optional Chrome extension.
It will work by letting users right-click on an application they’ve stored in Google Drive, and then open the app using one of their computer’s compatible applications.
In a nutshell, this new feature makes it easier for people using the Web to continue to use their favorite desktop programs. (Hello, MS Word!)
This is good news for users who haven’t yet – or never will – embraced the concept of creating documents only in the cloud. Many of us are quite taken with our MS Office Suite, thank you very much.
But is Google Drive the right cloud service for you, regardless of this new feature? …. Maybe you should use another cloud service?
Read below for information on the Big Three of cloud services: Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive.
This service gives you 15GB of free cloud storage, as well as a word processor (Google Docs,) a presentation builder (Google Slides,) and a spreadsheet application (Google Sheets.)
Drive is built into Google’s Chromium OS, their Web-based operating system. So, if you have a Chromebook, you’ll have to use Google Drive, as the other apps are not available on this operating system. Also, if you use Chrome as your browser, it is extremely easy to access Drive on the menu bar.
A big benefit is that Drive doesn’t require a lot of set up. You can pretty much sign in to your Gmail/Google account and start using it.
A downside is the fact that, while Drive allows you to upload and store photos, there’s no way for you to upload photos directly from your phone.
This cloud service also is very easy to set up and you can easily access your files from Dropbox’s website. The service accommodates any type of file of any size and files can be easily uploaded: either via the Dropbox website itself or with desktop apps you can download.
Dropbox also syncs all your files automatically, so you can access them from any device at any time (desktop, mobile, tablet, etc.).
One caveat: you can’t control how your files are displayed.
Users may upload any type of file to this cloud service, also. A super feature is that you can upload photos directly from your smartphone. In fact, the photo is saved automatically to this cloud service.
OneDrive also works well with MS Office apps (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, etc.). It works thusly: launch Word, for example, and in addition to any docs saved on your device’s drive, you’ll also see a list of recent docs saved to OneDrive.
Its weakness lies in the fact that if you don’t use Windows applications exclusively, OneDrive may not be as universal for you. However, the service does offer apps you can download, for non-Windows devices.
Did we miss your favorite cloud service? If so, what is it? Let us know – we’ll take a look and perhaps give you our take on it, in a later post.
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