Google unifies Gmail, Drive and photo storage: all users now get 15GB of shared space
Source: Google (via The Verge)
Since launching Drive last year, Google has offered users 5GB of free Dropbox-style storage for documents and their Picasa / Google+ photos — but Gmail has long had its own, separate 10GB of storage. Now, Google is unifying storage across its products, something that should automatically make Drive a lot more useful to many users. All Google users now get a combined 15GB of shared storage across Drive, Google+ photos, and Gmail that can be used as they wish. If you're a light Gmail users, you can devote some (or all) of that 15GB to Drive — immediately making it one of the larger free cloud storage options out there.
Unfortunately, Google has also done away with one of its storage tiers — previously, users could add 25GB of storage to Drive for $2.49 per month. That option is now gone; the cheapest extended storage option is adding 100GB to your Google account for $4.99 per month. That's half the price of Dropbox's 100GB plan, and some recent improvements to Drive have made it even better as a Dropbox replacement than ever. As for those with the $2.49 25GB plan, a Google spokesperson confirmed that users will be able to keep it until they cancel or change their plan — but new users will have to jump in at the 100GB tier. As with so many of Google's changes, these new Drive plans will start rolling out to users "over the next couple of weeks."
Life gets a bit easier when your Google products work well together—whether that’s inserting a Drive file into an email or sharing a photo from Drive on Google+. As this experience becomes more seamless, separate storage doesn't make as much sense anymore. So instead of having 10 GB for Gmail and another 5 GB for Drive and Google+ Photos, you’ll now get 15 GB of unified storage for free to use as you like between Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos.
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. Now it doesn't matter, because you can use your storage the way you want.
We'll also be making updates to the Google Drive storage page, so you can better understand how you're using storage space. Simply hover over the pie chart to see a breakdown of your storage use across Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. And if you need more storage, this is your place to upgrade, with plans starting at $4.99/month for 100GB.
Pro tip: This change means you're no longer limited to a 25 GB upgrade in Gmail—any additional storage you purchase now applies there, too.
These changes to Google Drive storage will roll out over the next couple of weeks. Google Apps users will also be getting shared storage, so visit the enterprise blog to learn more.