Google Drive has 120 Million Active users: Drive gets closely integrated with Gmail

Google has recently revealed that over 120 million users are active on Google Drive. The number is big enough for Google to introduce new features with Gmail that will allow users to save their attachments directly on Google Drive. The update is slowly being rolled out over the next week so you might not see it for a few days on your Gmail account.

By next week we should be seeing easier options to save attachments to Google Drive directly.

Save to Drive on Gmail
Gmail attachments to get closer integration to Google Drive

As seen in the image above, all your attachments could be saved on Google Drive with a single click. It will also allow users to choose the folder on Google Drive where a particular file has to be saved into.

Google Drive having 120 million users is a big deal!

Google Drive having 120 million active users might not seem a huge as Gmail probably has a lot more active users. The difference is Google Drive also encompasses Google Docs. So it means that many people have some sort of familiarity to a free online alternative to MS Office. Also with closer integration with Gmail, it means more people might be saving their MS Word and MS Excel sheets on Google Drive, something Microsoft will be not very happy about.

Source: Google Drive Blog

Bonus tips!

Google Buzz Data to be Sent to Google Drive!

With Google+ proving to be gain momentum, the internet giant has finally decided to shut down it’s not-so-successful social network, Google Buzz. Google Buzz has been unavailable to the public since an year and finally Google has announced that all the Google Buzz posts/content will be sent to the user’s Google Drive account.

This move is actually a good one by Google that ensures that the users’ have a backup of their Buzz history. Google will begin moving the data on July 17, and meanwhile you have three other options to access/download your Buzz content. You can choose one among these three :

  1. You can check your Buzz history on your Google profile.
  2. Download them using Google Takeout.
  3. Access it on the Google Dashboard.

google-buzz-gone

Related: How to export your Google Buzz stuff?

More About This Transition

Google has also announced that moving this data to your Google Drive account and it won’t affect your storage data. No matter how many gigabytes the posts are, Google will move and store them on your Google Drive account and for free.

  1. Google will send the files in two forms. Private and Public. Private file will contain all the private posts made by you. Public file will contain all the posts that you have made publicly. The public posts will still appear on Google Search and also is accessible to anyone who has the link.
  2. Comments that you made on other’s posts will be available only to the posts’ authors and not you.
  3. All the files moved by Google from Buzz to Drive act like normal files in Drive. You can do anything with them. Copy to other folders or delete them, it’s up to you.
  4. If you don’t want your comments to be in others’ Drives or do not wish to have a backup of your Buzz stuff, you can easily delete all your Buzz content right now.

Do drop in your comments.

Google introduces “Save to Drive” Button for Developers

If you are a web developer than Google has created something very useful for you. It is the “Save to Drive” button which can be used on your webpage. This button allows users to save a document or image right into their Google Drive.

Save to Drive - Button

How “Save to Drive” button works?

It really requires a developer to only post a small amount of script and HTML code. Basically copy-paste the code below into your webpage. (Reproduced from here)

<script src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script>
<div class="g-savetodrive"
 data-filename="My Statement.pdf"
 data-sitename="My Company Name"
 data-src="/path/to/myfile.pdf">
</div>

For more advanced options you can also use Google Drive JavaScript API.

“Save to Drive” from a user perspective

For users this is going to be a great idea. I already use their Chrome extension to save images and webpages on Google Drive whenever I need to save a print-out of a ticket or even keep an image stored.

With Google Drive syncing on phone and other platform it makes sense for webmasters to integrate it onto their site.

I am not a developer but I would love hear if someone is bringing Google Drive’s “Save to Drive” as a WordPress plugin? That would be hugely useful.

What are your views on “Save to Drive” button? Will you have this on your website? Do drop in your comments.

Update: Google Apps, Gmail, Drive and Docs Experience Partial Outage!

Several of Google services are facing an outage. The outage seems to be partial but widespread. Gmail. Google Drive, Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets all are facing downtime. Usually a service outage with one or two apps on Google happens from time to time, it usually does not happen with so many different services.

Here is a screenshot from Google’s app status dashboard.

Google App Status Outage apr13This outage is affecting not just free services but also Google App accounts, who actually pay to use Google App for work. A major outage for a long time is bound to be be cause some major criticism. That said, Google usually has most services usually boast of over 99% of uptime regularly. But if Google wants more and more people to move to the cloud, downtime for more than an hour could soon be termed unacceptable.

I have personally not encountered any outage on my Google account today but if you have, would love read your comments.

Update: All affected services seem to be up and running now.

Google Drive to soon unveil note taking app

Google is working on a new note taking feature that will be part of Google Drive. This new feature will allows users to store notes or to-do lists and sync and probably sync them on Chrome and Android. Google had a service called Notebook. It was used to store notes much like Evernote and other similar apps. Notebook never took off and it was finally shutdown along with other Google products.

Today, a new feature called “Keep” seemed to have been leaked. It lasted long enough for Android Police to get some screenshots.

Google Keep leaked screenshotThe service is not active at the moment but Google seems to be preparing for a launch. If you visit http://G.co/Keep it redirects us to an unavailable app on Google Play. Going by the screenshot image above, it looks like users will be able to store short notes, lists and images.

We will post a complete review of the app when its officially released by Google.

Share Your Google Drive Files Directly on Google+

Since Google Drive was launched earlier this year, I use it a lot of creating and sharing documents. I even use it to store photos, slideshow presentations and home videos. Since today, users can share their files from Google Drive directly to their Google+ accounts and others can view these files directly from their Google+ feeds.

How it works:

  • Choose a file from your Google Drive account. Now click on share option for the file.
  • It will allow users options to share the file using various platforms like Gmail, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. If you select Google+, others can directly look at the content of your file from Google+ itself. That means, users do not have to leave Google+ or download the file separately.
  • So basically if I was sharing my birthday video with some Google+ friends, I can simply share the link into my Google+ profile and friends can steam the video from their feed directly.

This was needed mainly as Google+ can also double up as an internal social network for app accounts. So sharing files with many collaborators can be very useful.

It is a great time for cloud storage and sync users as Dropbox has also pushed through a lot of new features like video streaming on Android phones and with Windows 8 leveraging SkyDrive expect a lot more from Microsoft too.

Which one of the cloud sync and storage services do you use? Do drop in your comments.

Google Drive Enables Editing of Documents for iPhone users

Google Drive has pretty much replaced Google Docs. One of the best features on Google Documents are the options of editing documents, leaving comments on them with the browser. Today with an update to Google Drive app, iPhone users will be allowed to edit their Google Documents. This option was already available to Android users.

Google Drive will also synchronize both iPhone and Android apps with additional features like speaker notes, full-screen mode, moving files into folders and creating new folders.

Personally, I have been using Dropbox, but lately with options to download my Gmail attachments in Google Drive, I find it quite handy. These new features might give Google Drive a bigger edge.

In the next few months, we should start seeing tablets running on Windows 8 and Office 2013, leveraging SkyDrive storage from Microsoft. This will probably mean, Google will make more announcements and upgrades to make sure they remain ahead of whatever Microsoft throws at them. I guess it is a good time to be a consumer.

Video of new updates to Google Drive

So if you are using Google Drive on your iPhone/iPad or Android based phone and tablet, go ahead and update your app for getting the new features.

Link: Google Drive for iPhone | Android

Single Login to Connect and Manage Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive

There are many cloud storage options online like Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive and more. I use Dropbox to backup my photos from my mobile and digital camera, while I use Google Drive to manage important documents and files.

Otixo is a great web app, that allows users to link up their cloud storage accounts from Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive.

Otixo Features

  • Add you accounts from multiple services once you register.
  • The default free account allows your a monthly bandwidth of 2 GB.
  • Users can upload, download, preview, rename folders, create new folders all from the Otixo interface.
  • We can share documents with a single link, which can expire after 30 days. We can reduce the number of days the link stays active too.

I found Otixo quite useful but would love to see a mobile app for it rather than use from the browser.

Try out Otixo and let me know in your comments if you know of similar services to link up cloud storage on multiple accounts.

Link: Otixo

How to Enable Offline Editing for Google Docs

Google Docs is a great service. At work, we often use it to collaborate on different ideas and plans. The only real problem with Google Docs was we could not really access them offline.

Google Docs now has the option of being available for editing in offline mode.

How to Set up Offline Docs

Google Docs as you might know has become Google Drive. That means all your Google Documents and spread sheets are part of Google Drive.

Log into your Google account and access your Google Drive on the browser. Click on the settings icon and from the drop down menu click on “Set up Docs offline”.

Now make sure you have the Google Drive web app installed on your Chrome browser. Click on “Enable offline Docs” button and your documents are made available offline.

Unfortunately, the offline feature works only on the Chrome browser.

Enable Offline Docs on Google Apps

If you have Google Apps for your organization then you might want to offline docs for your Google Apps account.

Simply go over to the admin panel if you are the admin. Under services select Drive and Docs.

A new option with title Offline allows you to check a box. Check it and click on Save. This should enable your Google Apps account users to enable their accounts to get offline docs.

A Boost of Chrome OS

Having the ability to edit documents offline is extremely useful not just for regular Google Docs users but also for Chromebook owners. Chromebooks run on Chrome OS, which did not have much offline functionality.

It should also give Chrome OS a lot more acceptability in time to come. What would be interesting is how Microsoft reacts as they pretty much have a stranglehold on the Office Enterprise software market and earn considerable revenues from Microsoft Office.

A lot of users who do not exactly want the entire Microsoft Office suite of desktop applications could potentially move over to Google.

Google Drive can also be accessed on Android, iPhone/iPad and desktops versions.

Do drop in your comments.

Save Gmail Attachments to Google Drive with One-Click

I like using Google Drive a lot more because of things like backing up my photos from my Android to Google Drive drive (which even Dropbox can do). I also use a host of Google related services has meant I have started adopting Google Drive a lot more.

In a way a lot of people are already on Google Drive if they are using Google Docs. But Google Drive allows any type of file to be saved which makes it ideal to download attachments from my Gmail account.

I use Chrome and found Gmail Attachments to Drive extension very useful.

Features of Gmail Attachments to Drive

If you are using Chrome, simply install the extension. Simply sign-in to your Gmail account and look up an email which has a file attached to it.

As you can see in the image below, you will get a new option to ‘Save to Drive’ for the file..

It basically opens the web interface of your related Google Drive account to download it. Ideally I would suggest making a specific folder to move your downloaded attachements into to keep your Google Drive neat and organized.

I have been using this extension for a couple of days and unfortunately could not find a similar one for Firefox. If you do come across any Firefox add-on that does the same, do drop it in comments.

Link: Gmail Attachments to Drive – Chrome