I read about Google Drive and tried it out. I was put on a waiting list for the 5gB $free service. A couple of days later, I had access. I could upload files or create them with Google Docs and share them with any or all.
The first thing I did was create a spreadsheet with a chart:
I then let Google share it with family-members via e-mail. I had the option of letting them edit it or not… The editor has the look and feel resembling LibreOffice but it is a little easier to use. The interface seems simpler and more intuitive and stuff you really want to do are at the head of the queue. The sparsity of features rarely bothered me. The only “real” problem I had was how to centre the title of the chart. It turns out increasing the size of font will work… The default is left-justified and maximum size is 20px but you can edit the “20px” instead of choosing what’s in the drop-down box. Network lag was no issue at all except when updating from a dialog box, a second or so. That might matter when updating a spreadsheet with many internal links/recalculations. It is a little different but pretty easy to use.
All in all, the interface is the key. It is similar to TinyMCE that WordPress uses but it has many more features. There’s definitely a role for Google Docs and Google Drive, but I would not think they will replace a good local server. It’s another tool and very cool. It’s a bit like a USB drive including software. Some uses I could make of it:
- backup or temporary/mobile storage
- serving graphics files for the blog (It might be faster and reduce load on my server.)
- collaborative writing (family, contacts, perhaps clients)
- distributing software/multimedia