Courtesy Seth Rosenblatt, CNET
Google’s capacity to store your files will jump by a factor of three, the company said Monday, rising from 5GB to 15GB shared across Google+, Drive, and Gmail.
Google made the announcement just before Google I/O developers conference begins this week. The changes will "roll out over the next couple of weeks," Google said in a blog post. Businesses using Google Apps will see their storage go up across Google Drive, Google+, and Gmail from 25GB to 30GB.
The new amount of storage space will give people who use Google services the most generous storage capacity of any player in the free online-storage game. A quick look at competitors shows that Dropbox currently starts free subscribers at 2GB, Microsoft SkyDrive users get 7GB, and Apple iCloud, Amazon Cloud Storage, and SugarSync offer 5GB for free. The announcement follows a Google Drive update from last week that allows you to save files from the Web directly to Drive.
There’s no doubt that the 15GB is a game-changer in the free storage market. The question is, why did Google do it?
Nevermind "do no evil," Google — as we all know — is in the business of making money. If Google is offering you more storage, then there is something that extra storage helps you do that will help Google make more money.
What that is, Google is not saying — yet.
It’s possible that at I/O, Google will reveal that Drive or Google+ will incorporate a more multimedia approach. Or perhaps it’s simply nothing more than a shot across the bow of Dropbox: you now get 15GB because Google can give you 15GB.
Either way, it makes Gmail, Google+, and Google Drive that much more appealing to serious Google services users.
Update, 7:03 p.m. PT: Added that business using Google Apps will see their storage increase to 30GB.
Update, 10:47 a.m. PT: Clarified that the new storage capacity is shared by Gmail, Google+, and Google Drive.
Courtesy Information Week
Google has released a new application programming interface (API) that allows developers to implement real-time collaboration in Google Drive apps.
Users of Google Docs, as well as Spreadsheets and Slides, now have the ability to edit a document at the same time others are doing so, and each can see the changes input by collaborators in real time. This is made possible by a technology called operational transformation, also featured in the now-discontinued Google Wave, which ensures the rapid transference of changes over a network.
Now developers who create apps that rely on Google Drive for storage can provide their users with the ability to interact and work together in real time.
“With the new Google Drive Realtime API, you can now easily add some of the same real-time collaboration that powers Google Drive to your own apps,” explained Brian Cairns, a software engineer at Google, in a blog post. “This new API handles network communication, storage, presence, conflict resolution and other collaborative details so you can focus on building great apps.”
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The makers of three apps have already integrated the Google Drive Realtime API into their code.
One is Neutron Drive, an online code editor. Using Google’s Realtime API, Neutron Drive allows multiple programmers to make changes to the same file at the same time. Version control systems like Git allow a similar sort of collaboration, but not in real time — changes to code stored in a Git repository must be merged, which may create conflicting versions of a file if the same lines of the program were revised by different collaborators. These conflicts can be reconciled, but real-time collaboration provides a way to avoid conflicts on the fly.
Paul Bailey, the developer who created Neutron Drive, said in an email that he found the API to be extremely useful because it makes adding real-time features so easy. “I think you’ll see a new wave of apps that will use this technology,” he said. “Before this API, I struggled with how to implement real-time features into Neutron Drive and now Google has made this easy and scalable — two of the best things a developer likes to hear.”
Bailey acknowledged that not everyone needs real-time collaboration capabilities. “A lot of developers are lone rangers who code by themselves,” he said. “So for them, it probably won’t make much of a difference. However, others like to pair program or may need help from a friend.”
He also said he expects real-time collaboration will be useful in apps for students and teachers.
In addition, Google has created a collaborative colored cube puzzle — a Rubik’s Cube for those not concerned about trademark lawsuits — to demonstrate how frustrating it can be to have multiple people all trying to solve the same puzzle.