Google on Wednesday announced the availability of Google One as a storage upgrade option for people in the United States.
The option will become available in other countries within the next few weeks.
Users with paid Google Drive storage plans automatically were upgraded to Google One in the past few months, noted Pavni Diwanji, VP of Google One.
Google One plans begin at US$1.99 for 100 GB. For $2.99, users can get 200 GB, and for $9.99, Google One provides 2 TB. Existing 1-TB plans will be upgraded to 2 TB for free. Pricing for plans that provide more than 2 TB is unchanged.
Google Drive offered the first 15 GB for free. An additional 100 GB cost $1.99, and users could get 1 TB for $9.99, 10 TB for $99.99, and additional storage in 10 TB increments at the same price.
Google One works with Drive and Gmail as well as original quality photos and videos in Google Photos.
Google One Features
Google One gives users a breakdown of their storage use. Categories shown in the example on the Google One app page are Google Drive, Gmail, Google Photos, Family and Family Storage.
Members can get in touch with Google Experts 24x7 by tapping their device screen once. They can choose to communicate via chat, phone or email.
Google One offers users extra benefits, beginning with credits on Google Play and deals on hotels found in Google Search. Google Store and Google benefits will be offered in the next few months.
Those member benefits can be accessed from within the app.
The benefits "might be attractive to some users," Jude said. "Google Play has music, apps and so forth. It's the Android equivalent of Apple iTunes and the App Store combined."
The benefits are "about tying people more into the Google ecosystem and giving some reason for app developers to see more spend," noted Holger Mueller, principal analyst at Constellation Research.
"It's a good move," he told the E-Commerce Times.
Google Drive's Impending Swan Song
It's possible that Google will push all Google Drive users to Google One at some point.
"That appears to be the goal, though it looks more like a heavily encouraged upgrade along the lines of a freemium model than a forced march," Enderle told the E-Commerce Times.
"This is the 'nice' period," Constellation's Mueller suggested. "At some point, Google will set a deadline. It's not efficient to have two products around."
Google will want to offer "one product or platform that's newer and has more synergies with the rest or with other Google products," he said.
Google "isn't in this for the money, but for ecosystem buildout, synergies and long-term lockin," Mueller pointed out.