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Previously, Google products had different storage limits for its various products, such as Gmail, Drive and Photos. The company apparently decided this was inefficient — from this point forward, all of the space provided for those products will be pooled into a shared 15 GB block. That block will still be free.

The move, according to Google in a blog post, is necessary now that the involved products have started to become more integrated. For instance, you can attach photos or Drive files inside Gmail. Keeping tabs on different storage limits for products that are so intertwined no longer makes sense, so the 15 GB limit will be the new norm.

No word on whether or not that storage will keep growing as it did incrementally inside Gmail. My money is on “no.”

Google also updated its Drive storage page with a graph that displays the amount of storage you’re currently using. You can upgrade to an extra 100 GB of space for $4.99 a month, if you wish — a price that is $5 per month cheaper than a similar service offered by Dropbox. Google Drive works in much the same way, syncing with your cloud storage while also copying those files to devices where Google Drive is installed. There are also mobile apps for Drive that allow you to access and view files as well as create Google Docs files.

Google Drive's updated storage page shows how much of your 15 GB you're using and also displays upgrade options.
Google Drive’s updated storage page shows how much of your 15 GB you’re using and also displays upgrade options.

The Docs functionality is a clear advantage that Drive has over a service like Dropbox. And Google Docs don’t count toward the Drive storage limit, so individuals and businesses that use the Google Docs feature as their main office software may find it tough to fill that initial 15 GB of space.

Google has stated that the roll-out for this new approach to storage will take place over the next several weeks. I can confirm that, when logging into my own Drive storage page, I am still greeted with a pie chart that says I am using approximately 0.16% of my 5 GB. There is also an option on the current page for a 25 GB plan at $2.49/mo. Based on the images we’re seeing of the new Drive storage page (shown above and to the right), it looks like this storage option is going the way of the dodo.

What do you think about the storage changes — do they make more sense or are you unhappy with them? Let us know.


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