The lack of sufficient disk space on our computer systems has forced us to embrace the option of cloud storage. Along with providing the necessary space to safely store our personal files, the flexibility of cloud storage enables us to access those files from any system. While some companies, like Dropbox, focus solely on providing this service, it’s just one of the many avenues that tech giants, such as Apple, Microsoft, and Google, embark upon. In May 2018, Google announced the rebranding of Google Drive, it’s online storage application. The revamped product would provide more functionalities to its user, and most importantly, at a substantially reduced price.
The rebranded product, called Google One, thrives to provide significantly better deals than its predecessor. On a monthly basis, it charges $1.99 for 100 GB, 2.99 for 200 GB, and $9.99 for 2TB. Previously, at $9.99 per month, Google Drive only offered 1TB of cloud space. As usual, users get 15GB of free space when they sign up using their Google account.
On 15th August, 2018, Google One became available to users in the U.S. The rebranding of ‘Drive’ to ‘One’, is a way for Google to clarify that this storage isn’t just limited to Drive, but also used for storing data from Gmail and photos from Google Photos app. Thus, the product remains largely the same, with tweaked prices, and a new name.
Google One also introduces the concept of shared space – which enables a user to share a given plan with up to five members. Thus, a family can avail 2TB of data, and share the dedicated space among its members – all for only $9.99 per month. In addition, Google One also introduces a new feature which enables the user to conduct live chats with Google Experts on queries related to cloud storage. Google has stated that the product will be globally available “over the coming months”, and current users holding existing plans will automatically get upgraded to a new plan pertaining to the same amount.
The event also marks Google’s first price cut in four years.
Users of the popular messaging platform, WhatsApp, might have noticed that when they backed up their chat history on Google servers, it consumed a portion of their Google Drive storage capacity. In order to circumvent this problem, Google has partnered with Facebook, WhatsApp’s parent company, to exclude the space required by WhatsApp history backups from available storage. Now, WhatsApp backups, which included media shared on the platform, will have a storage unit of their own.
Finally, Google One has introduced a “benefit section” in its app. It offers customers a $5 credit for availing any paid services. The credit can be redeemed at Google Play Store to purchase a third-party app. The section also features discounts on hotels found in Google Search. This clearly demonstrates Google’s plan to enhance on Google Express, its e-commerce program with retailers.
Google One’s prices have undermined its competitors, including Dropbox, in terms of cloud storage costs. Along with several added features and the option to share a bought space among several members, Google’s definitely leading the way in terms of purchasing online storage services.