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#1 gazumped

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:18 AM

Google announce that G.Docs is turning into G.Drive (if I read that right) and Google Drive now awaits you with 5GB (if I read that bit right) of free storage space. No doubt the good folks at EN will already have noted that there's a certain scary similarity with OCR-ing of documents, built-in search and parsing of images, not to mention the Office compatibility and edit-from-any platform options. However you only get a one-off 5GB for free - expandable up to 1TB for an eye-watering $49.99 a month. (There's some deal where Gmail storage goes up as well..?? not sure why. P'raps they think if you have that much need for storage space you'll be a very busy bee.)

Evernote is pretty much infinitely expandable at rather more attractive prices, and lots of people seem to have an e-allergy to too much of their documentation going to that big G in the clouds. Don't see this as any serious competition for the Herd, though it might come in handy as peripheral storage for some MS Office documents where extra access, editing and searching are an issue.

Hope the EN-crowd will keep an eye on the features though - there might be some ideas you'd want to implement though of course with a completely different look and feel..

PS The Google Drive apparently comes certified free of Loch Ness Monster.

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#2 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:28 AM

Google announce that G.Docs is turning into G.Drive (if I read that right) and Google Drive now awaits you with 5GB (if I read that bit right) of free storage space. No doubt the good folks at EN will already have noted that there's a certain scary similarity with OCR-ing of documents, built-in search and parsing of images, not to mention the Office compatibility and edit-from-any platform options. However you only get a one-off 5GB for free - expandable up to 1TB for an eye-watering $49.99 a month. (There's some deal where Gmail storage goes up as well..?? not sure why. P'raps they think if you have that much need for storage space you'll be a very busy bee.)

Evernote is pretty much infinitely expandable at rather more attractive prices, and lots of people seem to have an e-allergy to too much of their documentation going to that big G in the clouds. Don't see this as any serious competition for the Herd, though it might come in handy as peripheral storage for some MS Office documents where extra access, editing and searching are an issue.

Hope the EN-crowd will keep an eye on the features though - there might be some ideas you'd want to implement though of course with a completely different look and feel..

PS The Google Drive apparently comes certified free of Loch Ness Monster.


i was thinking about this similarity too.

if you spend your life on the cloud 24/7 with a fast connection, this is pretty impressive. there are lots of similarities to evernote, and in many respects, it is more compelling: google search is world famous, pdf files can be bigger (i forget--up to 1gb?), you can dump them all in right now, instead of doing one gb a month, and everything is searchable (as opposed to just a few types of files in evernote).

on the other hand, in evernote you can: do the vast majority of the searches you might conceivably need, your available space accumulates over time rather than needing a monthly fee for a set amount of space, and everything I need to have searchable is. just some thoughts that have come to mind.

also, there are privacy concerns:
http://news.cnet.com...e-a-toxic-brew/

#3 JMichael

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:47 AM

As far as I can tell, Google Drive does NOT support searching the content of MS Office documents.
If anyone sees where support for this is explicitly stated, please advise.

#4 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:56 AM

As far as I can tell, Google Drive does NOT support searching the content of MS Office documents.
If anyone sees where support for this is explicitly stated, please advise.


i haven't used it, so i don't know, but people are saying that it does.
http://www.pcworld.c...e_wins_out.html

#5 JMichael

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:16 AM

@GM. Thanks for the link. Looks like searching MS Office docs is supported.

My biggest concern with Google Drive is privacy.

#6 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 01:36 AM

@GM. Thanks for the link. Looks like searching MS Office docs is supported.

My biggest concern with Google Drive is privacy.


i am concerned, but not too much. i think they bungled their consolidation, but they know they have to be vigilant if they want to continue competing in this area. i would say your files will be pretty darned secure and private once they iron things out. for the moment, though, their policy seems bizarre.

#7 peterfmartin

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:49 AM

Can it clip web pages? If not, it can't store "all [my] stuff" or "search everything" for me. I don't think I'll be putting too much stuff there, not when I use Evernote for so much and almost all my documents are in Dropbox, thanks to the now 15 GB I get free from them thanks to invitations and photo uploads. Like gazumped, I'm also surprised at the pricing. I upgraded Gmail last year when I hit the free storage limit. At $5 a year for 20 GB (10 of which I'm now using, seven years after switching to Gmail), I was thrilled to upgrade. Google Drive is $30 a year for anything over 5 GB. Not as good a deal in comparison.

That said, of course I'll try it out, and I hope it's good, because maybe I can find a use for it. Even more than that, though, the best thing we can ask for as Evernote users is good competition, no? :)
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#8 JMichael

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:51 AM

Yep, I'm gonna give it a test drive, Texas style! ;)

#9 jbenson2

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:15 AM

  • All my PDF's are already OCR'd by my ScanSnap scanner, so Google Drive will be able to search them.
  • I never put my Word files into Evernote, so it should be easy to move them into Google Drive for better searchability.
  • Another nice feature:

Google Drive tracks every change you make—so 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.

  • Privacy Policy no worse than competitors

http://www.foxnews.c...se-than-rivals/

  • I'm on their waiting list.

"We'll email you when your Google Drive is ready. You’ll have access to Google Drive as soon as you receive an email from the Google Drive team; you’ll also see a blue Get started button in the top right of your window when you go to drive.google.com/start.



#10 Metrodon

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:22 AM

If you are planning on adding a bunch of MS Office files into Drive and hoping to be able to edit them wherever you are using Docs, note that you will have to convert them to google format first. So you will end up with 2 files...one in a proprietary format that you can't edit online and one in a proprietary format that you can't edit offline.

Got my personal Drive yesterday (still waiting on Corp account) - not sure that it gives anything different to Dropbox, SugarSync or any of the others apart from the integration with Docs which has it's own issues.

#11 GrumpyMonkey

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 12:06 PM

i am intrigued by it, and as usual, i can see a lot of great potential. however, as in the past with google products, i am not holding my breath. i was an early user of google notebook. it seemed cool in theory, and when it worked, it wasn't too bad. i am not a big fan of web interfaces for anything (they are always more clunky than an installed app) and losing connection (don't know why notebooks became inaccessible but the rest of the internet was fine) during inopportune moments became a regular occurrence.

i started using it around the time i started with evernote, and look where we are today. i am an evernote user and they stopped development of notebook. i think i might have said it before, but evernote is working really well for me and getting closer and closer to being exactly what i need (ios platform needs some more loving). and, i am pretty pleased with dropbox as well. i don't have a driving need to change at the moment. about the only thing that really attracts me is the incredibly rich editing environment. this is where i hope evernote will really step up its performance. i don't need a word processor, but i could use highlighting, more fonts (comic sans but no courier?), indenting (on the mac), etc., etc. we are so very close -- keep up the good work evernote!

#12 May

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:15 PM

looks like a google version of iCloud, except it's less integrated into apps and the os... Everybody wants to have their own walled garden (in the cloud) it seems, i.e. Microsoft, Google, Apple. Makes sense. But I prefer something which is actually completely cross platform, like Dropbox and Evernote, so I'm not relying on any platform and device in particular to access my data. Google drive could be cross platform though

Can it clip web pages? If not, it can't store "all [my] stuff" or "search everything" for me.


yeah, exactly. The ability to clip or even send emails to Evernote might seem like a simple feature and it might be easy to overlook but it's an essential key feature for me. What's the point in the cloud drive when you can't conveniently add stuff there from any device?

that's why I'm glad there is Evernote which does those simple but essential things.



#13 jbenson2

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 01:19 AM

I got the OK from Google to proceed. Installed and sync'd - I was surprised how many files it took it. A lot of them I had completely forgotten.

The Google Drive sort features are mighty nice.

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#14 JMichael

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:10 AM


As far as I can tell, Google Drive does NOT support searching the content of MS Office documents.
If anyone sees where support for this is explicitly stated, please advise.


i haven't used it, so i don't know, but people are saying that it does.
http://www.pcworld.c...e_wins_out.html


After a more careful review, I'm not convinced yet that G.Drive will search the contents of MS Office docs.

GM, the link you provide is a review that is based on this Google help page:
https://support.goog...63645&ctx=topic

This does NOT explicitly state that it will search MS Office contents.
I suspect it means you can search the MS Office metadata (date, owner, etc).

Here's another G.Drive Help page that talks about Search:
http://support.googl...75192&ctx=topic

Search your uploaded files

You can search for text in PDF and image files by:

  • Typing a query in the search box in Google Drive on the web.
  • Opening the Google Drive viewer and using the search box in the upper right.


While this Help page says you can view a MS Office doc, it seems to limit content (text) search to PDF and image files.

#15 jbenson2

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:23 AM

I am still learning Google Drive.
Ran a search for my wife's first name. Found her in several of the imported docs and spreadsheets.

#16 JMichael

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:29 AM

I am still learning Google Drive.
Ran a search for my wife's first name. Found her in several of the imported docs and spreadsheets.


So you found her name that was only inside of a MS Word, or Excel file?

If so, then that is really good news!

#17 jbenson2

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:36 AM

Technically her name was in Open Office documents and spreadsheets that I had saved over the years using the MS word and Excel file format.

#18 peterfmartin

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 04:47 PM

Just got my invite and set it up. I might be pretty dense, but almost everything I see so far was available with Google Docs. The only new feature I see is offline documents, and even that isn't working as I thought it would: I can open documents, but I can't edit them (it tells me that restriction is "at this time"). What am I missing? Or are the new features and uses of this going to become apparent with time, maybe if I put a lot more data in?

EDIT: I guess OCR is new. As is the image-to-text feature. The latter, in early tests, seems quite cool and certainly answers the occasional forum request, "Can I get a text version of the words in my image/PDF?" That said, Evernote's OCR, with its highlights, is very helpful, and, without such highlighting, Drive's seems less so. Clearly, though, all of these are first reactions.

EDIT 2: First test of PDF-to-text came out terribly. Out of a three-page PDF article, the only text it parsed was the copyright on the final page. Here's the image of the original, and here's the text it produced:

"Capyrighf of New Republic is The praperfy of New Republic and i1's ean1'en1' may na1' be copied or emailed 1'0 mul1'iple si1'es er pas1'ed 1'0 a lis1'ser\r wi1'hau1' The eapyrighf halder's express wri1'1'en permissian. However, users may prin1', download, or email ar1'ieles "Far individual use."

The display of PDFs is also very poor, since it's far too small. I can't find a way to zoom. Does anyone know whether that exists?
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#19 jbenson2

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:27 PM

Just got my invite and set it up. I might be pretty dense, but almost everything I see so far was available with Google Docs.


I'm still new with the features. But PDF's and search seem to be working OK with me.

Do you have the new Google Drive icon on your desktop? That is what I have been using.

#20 peterfmartin

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:57 PM

The first download didn't work, but now I've got it set up. Some reactions to the desktop app/portal:

—It says it's totally synced with my web account, but the search returns different results. One example: desktop here (one result), web here (six results).
—The search on the web portal offers nothing better than what Dropbox, Spotlight/Finder, and Evernote offer. Evernote's search is great because of the in-note highlighting and ability to toggle/scroll between hits near instantly. Drive, like the computer search, forces me to open each document separately to inspect the search match—and I have to do a Cmd+F search to see exactly where the keyword is in the document.
—My early tests with PDF-to-text have been very hit or miss. So far I can't see myself using this until/unless it improves, since it's currently too unreliable (see the example I posted).
—When I put a file into the folder on my computer, it doesn't automatically convert to the .gdoc format. Is there a setting I can change so it does that? If not, what's the point of the folder?
—Until offline mode lets us edit documents, I can't see how it's particularly useful. If I have a document in Dropbox, it's available everywhere and editable offline. If I put that document in Drive, it's available everywhere, but only read-only (for now, it seems).
—Documents in the Drive folder (meaning in the .gdoc format) can't be previewed, which is an inconvenience. (Drive preview here, regular PDF preview here.)
—And, for what it's worth (a little, to my eyes), the visual look is identical to that of Dropbox, but Dropbox is far more attractive.
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