Sunday, April 29, 2012

Google Drive will eventually replace Docs - but not yet for most of us.

If you use Google Docs as a file-hosting option, then the recent announcement of Google Drive probably has you wondering how Docs will be affected: there's a marketing announcement on the Docs Blog, but it has a distinct lack of detail on how it will work.

But this announcement on the to Google Apps blog has more info.  Key points:

  • Initial access is "on an opt-in basis via invite at"
  • It's being released to Google Apps users first: It will be made available to all domains over the next 4-8 weeks.
  • But [eventually] Google Drive will become the default andwill replace the documents list as the way to access files and documents.

It is introducing many changes and new features to Google Docs, including:

  1. A Google Drive desktop application, available from the Chrome Web Store
  2. A mobile application for your iPhone or iPad
  3. Sync files between all of your devices with Google Drive for your Mac/PC
  4. A different kind of search tool across your own files
  5. In Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation editors, you can add a file to a folder by clicking the folder icon
  6. Collections are called folders
  7. More options on the Settings menu
  8. More views on the left navigation: "My Drive", "Shared with me", "Activity"
  9. My Drive (instead of home) to organize all of your files, folders and Google Docs.

Note that you will not see any of these changes until Drive is available to you.   In the meantime, Docs continues to work as it has been working.

If you are a domain administrator, notice that Google Docs has been renamed to "Drive and Docs" in the Google Apps control panel, and that there are new settings in this service.

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  1. It's March 2013, Drive has been rolled out. It is seeming to me that photos are uniquely not part of Drive especially as to being able to store Blogger photos. Meanwhile the heavy social aspect of Google+ is a downside as we are being herded toward G+ inexorably for this element, it seems. And Picasa Web Albums looks like it is being end-of-lifed with pushing users to G+ which is not nearly as good as Picasa. Your thoughts?

    1. Indeed, this is an issue that has been bugging me too. Several of my blogs belong to anonymous Google accounts: there's nothing particularly private about them, it just makes more sense for them to have their own brands rather than be individually associated with me.

      If PWA is being replaced with G+Photos, then I'm not at all sure how to manage the images for these blogs in the future. I don't want them in my personal albums - one is about the public transport system in the city I'm living in at the moment, and one day I will probably leave and want to hand it over to someone else.