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Monday, April 16, 2012, 03:23 pm PT (06:23 pm ET)

Mac, iOS-compatible Google Drive said to debut next week

Google's rumored cloud storage and syncing service, Google Drive, will reportedly launch sometime next week, and new information points to Mac and iOS compatibility.

Citing a leaked draft release from an unnamed source, The Next Web reports that the internet search giant's new file synchronization service will finally be released next week with cross-platform compatibility in tow.

The source, reportedly a partner collaborating with Google Drive, claims that the service will come with 5GB of free storage, which equals existing solutions from Box.net and SugarSync and more than doubles Dropbox's 2GB entry point. Users will have the ability to purchase more space if needed, though it remains to be seen whether Google will allow storage incentives akin to those offered by Dropbox.

According to the draft, the system will operate in a fashion similar to most available products in that it will work "in desktop folders," hinting to seamless automatic file syncing. Exactly how Google Drive is intended to operate is unknown, though it is expected to launch with both Windows and Mac compatibility. Dropbox, for example, only syncs files placed into a specially created folder.

One "very solid" piece of information is that the solution is set to debut in the middle of next week, though most everything else remains up in the air.

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Leaked screenshot outlining Google's Google Drive cloud service. | Source: The Next Web


As more consumers move to the cloud, companies continue to create software packages that safely and reliably sync and backup data between devices or into the cloud itself.

Apple's own iCloud is limited in that only certain documents are available to sync between certain devices, for example files created in Apple's Pages or Numbers are automatically copied across iOS devices but transitioning them to Mac must be done manually. Users have also reported issues like lost documents. The Mac maker's upcoming OS X Mountain Lion is said to remedy some of these problems and offer consumers a more comprehensive file syncing experience.

As many Mac owners have turned to Dropbox and other compatible services to store and sync files in the cloud, it remains to be seen what new features Google can offer to penetrate a market dominated by already functional systems. Rumored features include Google Docs tie-ins, live document editing and tight integration with the Google software ecosystem.