Google introduced Google Drive—a data storage service that allows users to create and share information, collaborate with others, and upload and access files such as videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and other content.

Google Docs is built into Google Drive, so users can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations, according to a blog post announcing the service. Once a user chooses to share content with others, he or she can add and reply to comments on any type of content (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items.

Drive can be installed on a Mac or PC and downloaded onto an Android phone or tablet. The company says it’s also working on a Drive app for iOS devices. Regardless of platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader.

Users can search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and other criteria. Drive can recognize text in scanned documents using optical character recognition (OCR) technology. So for example if a user uploads a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping, he can search for a word from the text of the actual article.

“We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [Grand Canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up,” Sundar Pichai, senior vice president, Chrome & Apps at Google, said in the blog post. “This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time.”

Users can get started on Drive with 5GB of storage for free, and can upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or 1TB for $49.99/month.



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