The annual Google I/O conference is Wednesday, and many expect Google will introduce more plans to unify its vast universe of apps and services. Google got a head start on Tuesday, when it announced that it will do away with individual storage capacities on Google Drive, Gmail and Google+, and unify all three services under one umbrella. Users will now get 15 GB of storage across all three cloud-based programs.
Google's idea is that integrating the storage options for its various services makes it easier and more seamless to use the programs, so users can insert a Google Drive file into an email or share a photo from Gmail to your Google+ network.
The new Google cloud plan is also aimed at giving users more flexibility with how they use Google. Previously, Google users got 5 GB of free storage on Google Drive and 10 GB on Gmail. If you’re only using a GB or two on Gmail but have maxed out your Drive, you now have 8 more GB of storage for free.
This makes Google Drive one of the largest free cloud storage options and should immediately make it a more attractive option. Two of Google Drive’s biggest competitors, Dropbox and Box.net, only offer 2 GB and 5 GB, respectively, of free storage space.
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Google is also updating the Google Drive storage page to make it easier for users to see how they are using their space. Just hover over the pie chart to see the breakdown of how you’re using space across Drive, Gmail and Google+. This is also where users can upgrade to a premium account, which starts at 100 GB of storage for $4.99 per month.
Google is eliminating the previous payment tiers, which went as low as $2.49 for 25 GB. Users that have already paid for this will keep it, but new users will have to pony up $4.99 for a full 100 GB. It’s still a better deal than many of the competitors. One hundred GB costs $19.99 on Dropbox, while Box.net’s largest plan only gives 50 GB for $19.99.
Expect more announcements about Google unifying its services over the next few days at the Google I/O conference.