The overhauled service is being rolled out in the US over the coming months.
Google is making signficant changes to its paid consumer cloud storage service, Google Drive, including reducing prices and adding the option to share data allowances with your family, according to a blog post on the company’s official website. To coincide with the overhaul, which will only impact US customers to start with, the service will also be rebranded as Google One.
In terms of pricing, the main difference is that the company is adding a 200GB storage tier for $US2.99 a month, and dropping the price of 2TB of cloud storage from $US19.99 to $US9.99 a month. However, there’ll no longer be a 1TB storage plan, and the cost of all plans larger than 2TB will all stay the same.
As before, cloud storage can be used across Google Drive, Google Photos and Gmail – presumably to make this clear the company came up with the name “One” i.e. one storage plan for all Google services, but it’s anything but. For starters, it’s not apparent if it has anything to do with Android One, Google’s special version of its popular mobile operating system, beyond the obvious similarity in naming.
One standout new feature is the option to share your storage allowance with up to five family members, while each person retains full control of their own accounts. The company also offers One customers support for all its products and services via “one-tap access to experts”. However, Google has said business G Suite accounts, which already receive 24/7 support, are not affected by any of the changes.
According to Google, US users will automatically be upgraded to Google One over the coming months, and they’ll receive an email including details of the new benefits. There’s no news on when the new plans will make their way to Australia beyond the fact Google says it’s hoping to bring them to “everyone else” later this year.