Google shared storage (teaser 001)

Hands up who lives in the Google cloud. If you keep your images on Google+ Photos (formerly Picasa Web Albums), manage documents in Google Drive or file messages with large attachments in Gmail, you are tapping the power of Google’s cloud storage. But up until today, each of these relied on their private cloud locker in the sky, which was inconvenient.

This morning, Google has tweaked the offering to include fifteen gigabytes of unified, free storage shared across Gmail, Drive and Google+ Photos. Previously, Google gave you ten gigabytes for Gmail and an additional five gigabytes of combined storage limited to Drive and Google+ Photos.

The change strengthens the Drive brand while simplifying things for consumers, akin to Apple’s iCloud that comes with five free gigabytes of shared cloud storage…

Clay Bavor, Google’s Director of Product Management, explains in a post over at the Gmail blog how the combined storage space simplifies life for consumers:

For example, maybe you’re a heavy Gmail user but light on photos, or perhaps you were bumping up against your Drive storage limit but were only using 2 GB in Gmail. Now it doesn’t matter, because you can use your storage the way you want.

Even better, paid tiers are now also shared across Gmail, Google+ Photos and Drive.

This is important because previously a 25 GB paid Gmail upgrade was only usable in Gmail. From now on, any additional storage you purchase in Gmail also applies to Drive and Google+ Photos.

You can manage your Google cloud storage and purchase more, with plans starting at $4.99/month for 100 GB, using the Drive iPhone/iPad or Android app, or by visiting the Google Drive storage page, pictured below.

There, you can check out how your combined storage space is used by Gmail, Google+ Photos and Drive, buy additional storage and see other stats.

Quickly, do the math in your head: $4.99 a month works out to $59.98 a year.

By comparison, Dropbox charges $99.99 for an additional hundred gigabytes, or $9.99 a month. With Microsoft, an additional hundred gigabytes will set you back fifty bucks a year.

Google shared storage (web screenshot 001)

Don’t panic if you don’t see these changes yet – Google will be rolling updates to both the Google Drive storage and web interface “over the next couple of weeks.”

Even though I file as a heavy Gmail user, I really don’t use Drive much – Dropbox takes care of pretty much all my file syncing needs. But when it comes to photos, I fell in love with Google+ Photos as a viable Flickr replacement.

With meta data and full resolution support, automatic uploading via Google+ and Drive iOS apps and affordable paid upgrades, Google+ Photos has become my go-to cloud backup for photos.

On a final note, Apps users will be happy to know Google has bumped up each of their accounts to thirty gigabytes of free storage shared across Gmail, Drive and Google+ Photos.

  • You hear that? It’s the sound of crickets. Any file storage service Google offers a competitor already offers the same thing but in a more attractive form and with increased functionality…

    • Lol, im excited. Free storage never hurts especially since I use Apps

      • well its the same, its just that Google realized that 10GB just for mail is a bit crazy it makes more sense that drive would have access to that space to

    • Right, they should’ve done this a long time ago…

      I don’t need 10GB gmail space… but sure I need 10GB for pictures.

      Let see when I have mood to migrate the pictures from Dropbox back to Google.

  • Jason Sheffer

    I got 25 gigs free on skydrive

    • Al

      Same here… Works well with Office 13. Having the ability to save files straight to the cloud.

      But I also have Dropbox and Google Drive. With iCloud I have 25 GB of storage, but that’s only due to the grandfathered in MobileMe account. Not sure how that’s going to last. But with all these free storage going on.. It’s a win for the consumers.

  • I have 100 gbs free on google and 50 gbs on Dropbox

    • how did u get 100 gb free on google?

    • Damian W

      How did u get it

    • Al

      50 GBs of Dropbox?

      • Dan

        Not sure about him, but I have about 55 GB on dropbox. I got 50 GB by having a samsung phone. It only lasts till 2014 I think. I will most likely make the move to Google since dropbox is too expensive.

    • Bullshit

  • Not for me. I only have the 5gig free plan

  • Markus Hudobnik

    I still love Dropbox….

    • Dan

      same here, but they should have a plan that’s cheaper than 100$/year, not everyone needs 100 GB. 25 GB would be perfect for me. I tried to contact them once about that but never got a reply.

  • First I thought Google Now app will give out extra space doh, I’m stupid. :/

  • Yet, Apple gives only 5 gigabytes free for all of their services. But I guess it’s some sort of premium, high quality storage…

    • Dan


  • The first real reason I have for deleting useless mail

  • AndyDontCare

    Now that BIttorrent Sync is out, the cloud is largely dead to me.

  • Eldaria

    I still have an old 20GB $5/year plan, I guess it is getting closer for me to skip this one and go free, assuming the offer is also valid for Google apps users.

    Google has tried to convince me to switch to their montly plans. But I honestly don’t know why I would switch.

    Let’s see.
    $5/year for 20GB
    $2.49/month for 25GB

    I think I stick with 20GB for now.

  • hold up – google+ used to offer unlimited storage of uploaded photos (8MP or less) and videos (15 min or less). Now it’s capped???! So much for my convenient backup solution. : (

  • Photoshop? Otherwise, it’s bullshit.