By Alexandra Burlacu | May 14, 2013 11:27 AM EDT
With the big Google I/O conference just around the corner, Google announced triple free storage across its Gmail, Drive and Google+ services.
Google's capacity to store users' files free of charge will jump three times higher, rising from 5GB to 15GB shared between Google+, Google Drive and Gmail.
Google made the announcement on Monday, May 13, just before the Google I/O developers conference kicks off this week. According to Google's blog post announcing the upgrade, the changes will "roll out over the next couple of weeks."
Businesses, meanwhile, will see their free storage go up from 25GB to 30GB across the same services, i.e. Drive, Gmail and Google+. The new amount of free available storage will give Google users the most generous storage capacity of all free online storage options.
For the sake of comparison, Dropbox currently gives subscribers just 2GB for free, Microsoft SkyDrive gives its users 7GB, while Apple iCloud, Amazon Cloud Storage and SugarSync each offer 5GB for free. Google's announcement also follows a Google Drive update last week that allows users to save files from the Web directly to their Google Drive.
"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+," touts the search giant. "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."
Offering 15GB of free storage space is certainly a major improvement in the free cloud storage market, but it remains unclear at this point just what Google aims to achieve with this new scheme. All companies, after all, are in the business of making money, and Google is no exception. Either way, the new amount of free storage is a game-changer nonetheless.
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