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Cymons Games

Google Drive Sucks

November 20th, 2012

I tried to go clean from the ranting. I could never state my point the way I wanted so all I ever did was make a fool of myself. So I let go the hate and tried to live happy. Generally I’ve succeeded. It’s been a long time since something got under my skin.

Google doing it right

But, boy, has Google gotten under my skin now. Google has long employed a strategy of an ivory tower surrounded by miles of scorched earth. They do what they do as best they can, then eliminate anyone they can see around them. Generally I haven’t minded because generally Google has been doing it right. I won’t say they’ve been the good guy, the good guy wouldn’t destroy anyone else’s chance to compete. But they have shown everyone the way and changed the face of computing in the process.

In a day and age when programmers were trying to resolve what they had been doing with complicated command driven interfaces into this new Gee-You-Eye idea. So they filled every available square inch of space with options and check boxes. But Google said “screw that” and gave us (duh-duh-duuuuh) white space. A little text box, a big “go” button, and lots and lots of white space. It went against everything everyone was trying to do at the time but imagine if they hadn’t done it. Where, for instance, would Apple be if they were still trying to cram every option they could think of into a little touch screen?

Google then went on to apply that “give people what they want and hide the rest” philosophy to everything they did and, going with the whole “scorched earth” policy, gave it away for free. Gmail, the YouTube take over, their searches becoming smarter and responding to English sentences intelligently. Sure they were killing competitors left and right, but no one complained because with Google you weren’t settling on something inferior just because it was free. They were making quality stuff.

When Google Drive was announced, tho, there was a little sadness in me. I had been using Dropbox for a while and seeing Google turn it’s flaming eye on the little startup that could… well, I was sorry to see them going up against the giant. But how could they compete? Google Drive was offering 5GB for free! More than double what Dropbox was offering. I held out as long as I could but when my 3D modeling habit made minced meat of Dropbox’s 2GB it was either switch to Google Drive for free or start paying a monthly fee for Dropbox. So reluctantly I started moving things over to Google Drive. Then I learned that I could slide files from my Android to Drive easily. (You can now do the same with Dropbox, so no big advantage there any more.) But I never fully abandoned my Dropbox account and good thing too.

Doubt that I had made the right choice started to creep in. For one it didn’t seem like Drive had any sort of versioning. Drobbox always automatically maintained old versions of my files that I could revert to from the web. Even better, they didn’t count the space they were using to remember those versions against the limit. Then I started running up against the space limit in Google Drive even tho in Windows it looked like I was only using a little over 2G. What was going on? I contacted Google tech support, something I have never had to do before, and after two days I was told that Google versioning counted against me. “Wait,” I thought. “Google does have versioning, it’s on by default, and it’s counting against me?” To turn it off I was told I had to go through the web interface and turn off the option on each file individually. I have hundreds of files in there! But as I began the task I couldn’t find a single file was maintaining past versions. Well, I guess that means versioning isn’t on by default. Not sure how I feel about that in the end, but why is google still telling my my 2GB directory is eating up 96% of my 5GB of drive space?

Turns out the problem is Google Drive has it’s own recycle bin on the web separate from my recycle bin on my desktop. Every time you delete a file or even just move it out of the directory it goes into their trash bin and, get this, still counts against you until you empty the trash can in the cloud. This is not doing it right, guys. But it gets worse. After emptying the trash bin through the web interface my drive space resolutely stayed at 96% full. I check my trash again and all those files I emptied, supposedly to delete forever, are back and still counting against me! It’s like the house guest that would not leave.

Is Google finally moving over to the dark side or did the drive group simply not get the  ”give people what they want and hide the rest” memo? Having to manage things in my account I can’t see is defiantly non inline with the Google philosophy that changed the world. Maybe they knew that they were going to pull this stuff and that’s why they went with a 5GB limit, thinking they could kick the can far enough down the road that everyone would abandon Dropbox to their fate and by the time they realized it would be too late? Well that wasn’t long enough. I’ve only been using Drive a few months, but I’ve used Dropbox for years for free and I’ve never had to deal with anything like that. I think Dropbox should thank Google for convincing me at least that I need to budget the $10 a month to go Dropbox Pro.  If I haven’t made it clear, don’t use Drive. Google messed that one up bad.

Of course if you don’t have Dropbox (last one, I promise) and you click on the links I’ve been dropping and sign up you’ll get me an additional quarter gig. So feel free to do that.

Alright, that’s all the venom I have on this subject. Sorry to subject you to that. Would it make it better if I promised to start updating here more. I have a few dozen game ideas that I just am never going to get around to making. Would you guys like them? I promise they are each well fleshed out and each one is interesting… well, most of them are.

3 Responses to “Google Drive Sucks”

  1. Concerned

    I don’t like either Dropbox or Google. Why? Not because of monopolistic behaviour by either.

    But because they both seriously breach privacy.
    I don’t even use Google Search anymore, I use the privacy-aware search engine DuckDuckGo ( – great for nerds! Search suggestions to be implemented in a privacy-respecting way soon). This way I broke out of the bubble. I would HIGHLY recommend you pick up a book called ‘The Filter Bubble’. You can probably find it at your local library, or if not that, definitely your local bookstore or Amazon et al (though I’m not happy with Amazon’s DRM crap).

    Dropbox is just as evil as the rest. Host any copyrighted content, they take it down along with your account (has happened many times, and they have an unlimited license to do this). Police suspects you, they will hand over all your data. And trust me, saying that only criminals need to be afraid of tracking is

    There are excellent privacy-aware alternatives such as Wuala (much better for Europeans like me) and SpiderOak, which have end-to-end encryption and are legally liable for a hell of a lot more things. If you’re very serious about privacy though, you’d opt out of all that and set up your own home server. There are plug-to-wall devices such as the TonidoPlug (mostly open source), Excito and so on that do this. There are also software packages like ownCloud with similar functionality.

    Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook (gosh, especially Facebook!), all of them have always been on ‘the dark side’. A business’s aim is to stay profitable. This will always be a goal. But when they begin ignoring their users’ right to withhold information from third parties, or worse yet, put you in your own little bubble you can’t break out of (for Bing & Google Search) that effectively filters the web for you, it is a step too far. It is time to say no. And that’s why I don’t like either Google or Dropbox.

    PS: I laughed when Google+ came out and everyone on (federated open source microblogging website based on — hard to explain!) moved there. They hated on FB for years and then they went and handed over their data to Google of all entities! I don’t want either of them synonymous with the web. I want a people-powered, open web as envisioned by Tim-Berners Lee in his influential TED Talk in 2006 (?). Look it up. You shall be enlightened.

  2. Ovi Demetrian Jr

    I lost all my Google Docs data because of the way Google Drive syncs files, I’ve posted my story here:

  3. Elizac Ortiz

    I did not realize how bad Google Drive was until I had to switch over to my old hard drive after a failed upgrade to a SSD.
    I re-installed Dropbox without a hitch, Google Drive, not at all! Now it won’t even go away! It says that there’s another setup program running that needs to finish before I can remove Google Drive, and obviously there isn’t one.
    I want to rant at the Google Drive development team for removing one extremely important and obvious feature: Let us choose whatever folder we want with whatever files are there and just sync them up! It would be a good deal if it just worked instead of giving us users hell over nothing! Shame on you Google Drive team!!!!

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