„The cloud“, this weird creature from the Internet, is still a foreign word to most users. It is not tangible enough for many while they are not realizing they have been using it already for years – Gmail, Flickr, YouTube, to name only three.
For a while though it looked like the big market players did not understand the cloud either. Well, it was pretty likely they were working on something, but Apple’s MobileMe was not very persuasive, Microsoft seemed to be on the wrong track anyways and even the Google products such as Google Docs were working far below their potential.
When DropBox arrived I was incredibly relieved. Finally! I was waiting for a simple service like this for years.
Meanwhile Apple has announced its promising iCloud. Although you might think about music first when it comes to iCloud, it is much more. At the end it will be the glue that will hold the Apple universe together, from iPhone to iPad, from iTunes to iBooks.
But what about Google? For years the geek world was speculating about the “GDrive”. Now, finally the waiting seems to be over. Clues like the word “drive” in source codes were coming together and recently I found evidence seeing it for a few seconds on a Google event. Techcrunch and the rest of the blogosphere was sure: We finally know how the Google Drive will look like and it will come soon.
Very important, it looks like it will be integrated into the overall Google experience, making Google Docs to a real drive in the cloud.
What I find most promising: The opportunities that open up with Google’s new social asset Google+. Because what most tech companies still do not seem to understand is that social connection is the real killer component that needs to be integrated in a cloud service.
Facebook just recently showed the world again how social works. With Timeline you can finally unfold the real potential of apps by integrating them into your social network. Until now apps had social functions to a certain extend, for example when you could share content to your network by liking it. But now they become social themselves. You might do your workout with the Nike app, your friend is seeing this on Facebook and starts using the app himself, joining you in your effort to get in shape.
So if Google is smart, they will integrate Google Drive and Google Plus in a way that really unfolds the potential of a cloud drive. Then we might listen to our music stored on Google Drive together with our friends, use hangouts while working on the same documents and select the set of vacation pictures for our Google+ accounts from our common GDrive folder, while being on the other side of the world.
Maybe this time a company has really understood the cloud.