Google has implemented a new program called, “Google Drive,” that replaced Google Docs. Instead of seeing the word Docs in the upper-hand toolbar, you will see Drive, indicating the rollover to the new program.
Google Docs refers to the editors for Google documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, and forms. These are online documents that live in the cloud and provide real-time collaboration features. Note: Information on Luther’s implementation of Google Docs (aka Norse Docs) is available at https://www.luther.edu/helpdesk/norsedocs/.
Google Drive is the place to access all your files, including both Google Docs and local files that you sync to the cloud.
The above information and more is available in the Google Drive FAQ for administrators.
For a brief video introduction to Google Drive, visit Google Drive Home.
Now that Google Drive is in place, some changes can be seen:
Google isn’t a company that ever presents ideas and/or programs that may or may not be effective; everything is implemented for a reason. The early stages of the Google Drive roll-out will be an “opt-in” upgrade. Deciding whether or not you would like to test the new program before it’s set as the default web interface is entirely optional. Opting-in is a way to have more time to get used to the transition.
Phase 1 (opt-in period)
You can access Google Drive before it’s set as the default web interface by visiting http://drive.google.com/start, then by selecting Get Started. Depending on how popular the initial phase is, there may be a waiting line. If this is the case, you will see a Notify me button which will send you an email when you are able to access Google Drive. The domain administrators will be notified about the desired shift to opt-in, and will usually grant access one week later; sometimes earlier. Once you’ve opted-in, and until Google Drive is set as the default interface, you will have the option to switch-back to the original Google Docs list.
Phase 2 (opt-out period)
Rapid release track: as mentioned previously, you have the option to install Google Drive before it is set permanently with the option to temporarily opt-out of Google Drive. Scheduled release track: domain administrators will be notified of the pending opt-out phase and by a week later, opt-out is available. This is only relative to the users wishing to switch back to the original Google Docs list if things aren’t kosher with the way work is hoping to be completed through the Google application.
Phase 3 (full transition)
Rapid release track: once Google has made all the correct adjustments and the transition is officially implemented, there will be no going back. Scheduled release track: domain administrators will be notified of the final migration and one week later, all domains will be fully transitioned.
For more information on the migration from Docs to Drive, visit Google Drive transition notes
Here are some highlights from Google’s blog announcement:
“Each Apps user gets 5GB of storage included”
“Just as before, Google Docs don’t count against your storage quota.”
“You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices. You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and can download the Drive app to your Android phone or tablet. We’re also working hard on a Drive app for your iOS devices. And regardless of platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader. “
“Drive is also an open platform, so we’re working with many third-party developers so you can do things sign documents with DocuSign and HelloFax, design flowcharts with Lucidchart and manage projects and tasks with Smartsheet directly from Drive.”
“Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner, activity and many more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology.”
For a brief video of the features, visit Google Drive Features.