In the past, Google offered non-premium users 10 gigabytes of free storage capacity on Gmail, and 5GB of storage capacity on Google Drive and Google+ Photos. Beginning today, Google will allow users to pick-and-choose how they "spend" that 15GB across the platforms. In other words, the overall capacity on Google Drive and Gmail isn't increasing, but your options are.
"With this new combined storage space, you won’t have to worry about how much you’re storing and where. For example, maybe you’re a heavy Gmail user but light on photos, or perhaps you were bumping up against your Drive storage limit but were only using 2 GB in Gmail," Google's Clay Bavor wrote on the company blog today. "Now it doesn’t matter, because you can use your storage the way you want."
So how does the new policy stack up against other, similar services? Well, let's look at Dropbox, perhaps Google's most prominent competitor in the personal cloud storage arena. Dropbox (which, full disclosure, we use and like an awful lot) dishes out only 2GB of storage to users with a Dropbox Free account. Here's the catch: every time you refer a buddy to Dropbox, the company gives you 500MB of additional storage.
Of course, you can't refer an infinite amount of pals – the max amount of extra storage Dropbox will give you is 16GB, for a grand total of 18GB. That's bigger than what you'd get with Google, although Dropbox doesn't offer the easy Gmail/Drive synchronization you get with Google. Moreover, with Google, you'll get that free 16GB right off the bat, whereas with Dropbox, you're going to have to work for that storage capacity.
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