We pride ourselves at StringCan Interactive in staying ahead of the innovation curve. When news came out about Google Drive – Google’s upgrade of Google Docs and the rumored Dropbox killer - we were buzzing about it in our office and sharing their launch video as a great example of a promotional video. However, StringCan has been a loyal user of Dropbox for years now so we were also hesitant about trading in Dropbox for Google’s latest new product. After taking Google Drive for a test ride we decide to share this blog as a review of the two cloud storage services and a summary of our decision.
Since we opened our doors Dropbox has been doing an excellent job of taking care of our file storage needs. Though we value its features, Google Drive provides some unique opportunities that caught our interest – as well as some setbacks that made us wonder if we should jump in.
- Integration with Google Suite – Gmail, Gdocs, Etc
- Collaborative Document Editing– like Google Docs.
- “Those using it for collaboration will probably get the most out of it.”
- 5GB of Free Storage (Dropbox starts at 2GB free per user).
- Also lower cost for more storage.
- Drive: 100 GB for $4.99/month
- Dropbox: 100GB for $19.99/month
- Larger Maximum File Size (10GB vs 2GB for others)
- Can open a greater varietyof file types in browser
- Access to over 30 file types including HD Video, Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator – even if you don’t have the program installed on your computer.
- Search capabilities.
- Google Goggles image search - able to search within pictures/images saved in Drive
- Saving & Tracking capabilities
- Google Drive tracks every change you make. When you hit the save button, a new revision is saved. You can look back as far as 30 days automatically, or choose a revision to save forever.
- Also lower cost for more storage.
- Limited Mobile Functionality - only available on Android. However, iPhone & iPad capabilities are in development
- If not properly set-up, the user interface can be confusing.
- Dropbox guides users on how to best use it as a file storage tool through examples of how to use Dropbox and have shareable folders.
- Google Drive welcomes you to a blank canvas that may confuse users on how to fully utilize its potential.
- Concerns over privacy and IP ownership.
- “If you are comfortable using Gmail, you should be comfortable with Google Doc.”
- Drop Box provides valuable real person support.
- Drive only provides white paper “How To” Documents.
Here are some screen shots comparing the two in action:
Folder Versions - Mac
For a more in depth look at the different features that Google Drive offers compared to the competition take a look at this matrix box comparing it to Dropbox, SkyDrive, & iCloud.
We were very impressed with Google Drive and the added features that it provides to our team working on the cloud. The ability to work collaboratively on a Word Document or Excel on the same platform that you can use to share large Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop files is a game changer to our world – and that of many other businesses using cloud storage. That, along with its competitive storage plans, revision tracking abilities, and deep search integration make Google Drive the new flashy ride in the cloud service showroom.
However its lack of mobile capabilities was of major concern for our team who regularly uses Apple products. Considered how frequently we use Dropbox on mobile devices, along with a few other feature concerns made us decide to make a slow transition into Google Drive.
For now, our team will primarily use Google Drive for collaboration, both for co-creating documents and sharing files with our creative departments that can only be accessed through Google Drive. Dropbox will continue to be our regular file storage tool, at least for the next couple months, until we do some more testing and Google Drive expands its mobile capabilities.
Take a Test Drive for Your Self
We encourage you to not take our word for it. Visit Google Drive’s showroom and if you want some help on getting set up here is a step-by-step guide on How to enable Google Drive and set up a Shared Folder.
Also, Google Drive and Dropbox went at a head-to-head boxing match at the start of this month. Business Insider has coverage of that if you want their opinion over this matchup.
Are you using DropBox or Google Drive? Let us know what you think in the comments below or on our Facebook page.