Sorry Dropbox, Google Drive Won

Posted by on April 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I’ve been a Dropbox user for the past four years and it’s been an incredible service. Kelly and I have used it regularly to swap art and documents on our various projects over the years and Cody and I use it on a regular basis to work on the comics (which will return sooner than later!). You drag your files to it and it syncs across all of your devices easily, it’s wonderful. Unfortunately for Dropbox, I’ve been a Google user for twice as long, biting down when I was invited to the early Gmail beta in 2004. I had some doubts that Google’s new Dropbox-ish cloud storage service wouldn’t be able to match, but now that it’s finally out for the masses (except Kelly) it wasn’t a difficult switch.

So why Google Drive over Dropbox? As a long-time Google user, let me explain the pros and cons:

Storage. Sure, both give five gigabytes free to start, but it’s the prices beyond that that stifle. For the next step up, $10/month gets you 50GB with Dropbox while $4.99/month gets you double that – 100GB – so it’s not difficult to see where my money’s going.

Web Interface. Dropbox’s web portal for uploading and managing files works, but compared to Drive’s listings, modeled after its other tools like Gmail or Docs, can’t be beat. Google has a sturdy legacy to build on, Dropbox has a serviceable but slightly janky portal.

Desktop Support. Both feature incredible desktop support (at least on PC) but I’ll give the point to Dropbox just for being first to the game.

Google Integration. Since this is Google (you may have heard of them), they’ve made integration with Docs seamless (and the space used there doesn’t count toward your Drive total) as well as their other tools, like that one thing no one uses. Being a standalone company, Dropbox isn’t tied to any services, they’re merely a box that you drop stuff into. There’s nothing particularly wrong with that, but when you use as many Google services as I do, being able to tie them into storage is a great benefit. This also makes sharing and collaboration easy as well.

Not On Your Mobile. Unfortunately, Google Drive has one major setback in its availability for most mobile platforms. Of course there’s an app for their native Android platform, but iOS support is still on the horizon while Windows Phone is nowhere to be seen. One of Dropbox’s major advantage is, like Netflix, its ubiquity. Google has a lot of catching up to do in this regard, but as a PC/Android user, I really have no qualms.

Sorry Dropbox, the heat under your seat just got a lot more intense.

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