Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide – Napoleon Bonaparte
As I wrote in a previous post, I am a happy user of Dropbox long since. I used it as an aligner of directories among my different PCs, as well as an intelligent (one-month) versioned backup.
I have long been using Google Docs, as a powerful means to share documents and work on them together with some friends or colleague. But while Dropbox merges seamlessly with a traditional approach to documents, smoothly adding a persistence management, Google Docs is really innovative, and somehow breaks your usual way of working. So, when Google delivered Google Drive (GDr), a clear attempt to enter this segment of services, I was interested in it.
An important note is about Google Docs (texts, spreadsheets, …). I put it this way: Google Docs are just documents based on a new document format. It is proprietary, non-standardized and accessible only through its site. Those are not good credentials for my judgement. But for the environment they live, they are very useful, anyway.
So now I must decide how to behave with my beloved files: Dropbox or GDr? I have set a table with _my_ main decision criteria:
|versioning||x (1 month)||x (just for Google Docs)|
|bin||x (1 month)||x|
|search engine||a simple one||Google (!)|
|Windows and Mac clients||x||x|
|synchronized folders and files selection||x||x|
|picture and pdf online reading||x||x|
|online collaboration (document editing sharing, chat)||–||x|
|syncing notification||very good||less good|
to increase space
|Referrals, up to 16GB||–|
|security level (in my case and my opinion)||enough||enough|
|files grouping||physical (directories)||logical (tagging and directories)|
|Google Docs documents||–||x|
|non-Google Docs documents||–||–|
|pure text documents||–||x, with 3-rd party app|
|Google Docs documents||–||–|
|non-Google Docs documents||x||x|
|pure text documents||x||x, with 3-rd party app|
As you can see, in my list of criteria I ignored space cost issues, because for my uses the available space is enough for Dropbox, and the cost of 5 $/y for 20 GB in GD is negligible.
So, at the end of the day, the only heavy thing dividing the opponents is IMHO the presence of a tremendously collaborative environment in GDr, but only for Google Docs documents.
So, in my case, given my solid Dropbox file base, a possible line guide could be still using it for standard documents, and making use of Google Docs only when needing a collaborative environment.
I must agree with many affirming in this case Google (especially thinking they were starting from a great tool like Google Docs) has offered too little, too late.