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Google Drive online storage launches today


(CBS News) Google announced its cloud storage service Google Drive Tuesday. The new service is an online file storage system that is also integrated with services, like Gmail, Google+ and Google Documents.

So how does it work?

Google Drive is similar to Dropbox or Microsoft SkyDrive. The service requires you to install software onto a Macintosh or PC, which acts as a drive on your computer and syncs with a remote server or the cloud. Once a file is saved on your Google Drive, it should also sync to the cloud. That means you can access your files from anywhere that has an Internet connection. The service will also be available on Android tablets, with Apple iOS devices in the works.

Integration with Google products is easy enough. Google Documents is built into Google Drive, so files will be synced automatically. Soon you can grab files and photos from Google Drive and attach them to Google+ or Gmail.

Because it's Google, the search function of Google Drive is emphasized. You'll be able to search by keywords, file type and owner, but that's not all. Using technology called Optical Character Recognition (OCR), you'll also be able to search text in scanned documents.

Google describes OCR  as technology that "lets you convert images with text into text documents using automated computer algorithms." An example of how this technology can be used is if you scan a newspaper article. You can later search the scanned image for the text from the article.

Google Drive starts off with 5GB of free storage space. Paid plans start at $2.49 for 25GB going up to $49.99 for 1 terabyte. The service is not widely available yet, but you can sign up to be notified at

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