I’m a (very happy) google apps user and when google drive was announced a while back I was looking forward to giving it a spin.
Well I have taken 5min’s out of my life to test out the google’s doc’s on my desktop app only to be quite disappointed; what google have done is taken the worst part of the market leader’s (dropbox) cloud storage app, married it to the worst part of google docs and pushed it out!
The worst part of dropbox is the reason for it’s success – sync’in files to different machines, now stay with me… I’m a big dropbox user and I’ve got about 8Gbs of storage with them and I love the app. The issue with the system is that when I link my dropbox account to a new machine it downloads my whole 8Gbs of data, do I need the same 8Gb on every machine, no… I want some of dropbox’s other features (cloud-backup, versions, undelete, sharing) associated with that data, yes! What would be nice is to be able to “tag” folders with a “sync to all machines” (or similar) but I reckon I’ll be waiting a log time.
The worst part of google drive (docs) is the “lock in”, do I want to use google-docs to view all my files, no! I have some very good apps which work just fine locally. Do I want to be able to edit/view/download/share some of my files hassle free from “another machine”, yes!
You see, I have a use case for both dropbox & google docs and I was really hoping that google drive was going to marry up the two, but instead what did I get…. a system tray app which fills up my hard drive with shortcuts!!!
What google should have done…
The system tray app should not create anything locally, what it should do is mount my google drive as if it was a local drive! I could then copy/paste/move files in and out of my google drive as if it was part of my local system; when I’m at work/pub/friends/somewhere I can fire up a web browser and edit/view/download those files. If I then load up the system tray app on another machine with the drive-mounting approach there is no need to sync Gbs of data and I can just get started on the few files I’m interested in at that point in time. (I respect that some caching/syncing would be required to create a good user experience.)
This is my rant over, google, I hope you fix it