Well it seems Mountain View heard me (because we all know they thoroughly read my blog).
Let’s come to the facts: this week, Google Drive went public. This service replaces Docs and works pretty much like Dropbox, synchronizing one folder between all your devices (smartphone, tablets, etc.) and with Drive homepage. But it offers the possibility to edit and create new documents directly online, which can be quite useful when you don’t have access to your computer.
Also, both services allow for only one folder to be synchronized. Don’t worry, if you’re a classifying crank and you don’t want to mess up your folders, here’s a solution: symbolic links.
But I’ll stick to what I’ve said: Google own file format (gsheet, gdoc) is not 100% compatible with MS Office. This means if you want to modify a Word document on Drive, you’ll first have to convert it, which can cause loss of format and maybe data (imagine converting a pretranslated doc with Crados…). For this reason, I cannot recommend Drive for a professional use. The risk of modifying my clients’ source documents is just too great at the moment. And contrary to Dropbox, you can’t retrieve older versions of your files.
And there’s the issue of available storage space. Drive offers 5 Gb; Dropbox only 2, but you can extend it to 18 Gb with referrals and various promotional offers. You can also buy space, and in this case Drive is much more attractive (even if prices skyrocketed with Drive: from 5$ per year, the 20-ish Gb cost now 2,50 $ per month).
So: Drive or Dropbox? Personally, I’ll use both: Dropbox for my professional files, as I am assured they won’t be deteriorated, and Drive for all other file types, such as drafts for my blog, letters, images, eBooks…
Anyway, be aware that Dropbox recently improved its referral system and offers now 500 Mb for each referral (vs. 250 Mb before). So if you don’t have a Dropbox account yet and want some extra storage space, click on this link.