Google Drive, the Dropbox competitor Google has been building, on-again, off-again, for the past few years, is now very close to launch. New sources confirm that the service and apps are to debut next week.
The Next Web, which got its hands on a draft release from a Google partner, also confirms
that Google Drive will offer 5 GB of free storage out of the box.
There's nothing new here, the 5 GB figure was confirmed
when a version of the desktop app leaked. Likewise, the third week of April was the most recent and reliable launch date.
Techcrunch was also able to get a hold
of the Mac OS X desktop app, via a public link on Google's servers, which has long since been removed. While the app is complete and working, Google hasn't enabled the Drive service for regular users just yet, making the app useless for now.
Google is coming late to the party but, at least, it's introducing Drive with a full set of features. There will be desktop and mobile apps from the get go. Granted, only Windows and Mac OS X will be supported initially, Linux is out for now.
An Android app is pretty much guaranteed, though it is very likely to be just an updated and upgraded Google Docs app that gets Drive features. This also means that Drive will have support for editing documents on Android, but that's already possible with Docs. No word on an iOS app, but that should be in the works as well.
Of course, an updated Google Docs website will serve as the online file manager for Drive.
The remaining question, which is still unanswered, is how much Google is going to charge for extra storage. Everything we already know about Google Drive indicates that it's pretty much identical to what Dropbox is offering, so the only thing it can stand out with is price.