Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - DIY SPECIAL - BY ASHISH BHA­TIA

Some­one once said, hap­pi­ness is like a cloud—if you stare at it long enough, it evap­o­rates. How­ever, when it comes to cloud com­put­ing, quite the op­po­site is hap­pen­ing. In­stead of evap­o­rat­ing, the cloud is rapidly gain­ing a toe­hold in most of our de­vices. Case in point: The re­cently launched Google Drive. This new soft­ware-cum-ser­vice lets you store, ac­cess and sync 5GB of files not just on­line, but also off­line. So you can keep them just about any­where, across mul­ti­ple com­put­ing de­vices. Be it your of­fice or home PC, Mac, lap­top, mo­bile de­vice—or even on­line on some­one else’s PC. All auto-synced to the most re­cent ver­sion. For a more de­tail overview, head to https://drive.google.com. GET­TING STARTED: To get go­ing, lo­gin to your Gmail or Google ac­count. If you don’t have an ac­count, you’ll have to cre­ate one to use Google Drive. In­ci­den­tally, Google is pro­vid­ing the Drive fea­ture to ac­count hold­ers in a phased man­ner. You can check your Google Drive ac­cess sta­tus at http://drive.google.com/start. If you have been granted ac­cess, go ahead and in­stall the Google Drive for your Mac/PC ap­pli­ca­tion by click­ing on the Down­load Google Drive link that you’ll find in the left col­umn of the screen. Copy or move some files into Google Drive. And then once you’ve in­stalled the ap­pli­ca­tion on some other de­vices you’ll see how sim­ple it is to keep data ac­ces­si­ble and up-to-date ev­ery­where. You can make changes to a file on a com­puter, mo­bile de­vice or the web and find the changed re­flected wher­ever Google Drive is in­stalled. And why just talk of work­ing alone. Google Drive makes shar­ing files and col­lab­o­ra­tive work­ing also much sim­pler. For ex­am­ple, in­stead of upload- ing and at­tach­ing files to your mail, you can sim­ply share a file that’s in your Google Drive. You can also in­stall the Google Drive app on your An­droid tablets and smart­phone. An iPad and iPhone/ iPod app of Drive is in the off­ing. MAK­ING GOOGLE DRIVE YOUR DE­FAULT DOC­U­MENTS FOLDER: Like we’ve just said, the big­gest ad­van­tages of Google Drive are its seam­less backup and sync­ing abil­i­ties of all your doc­u­ments—es­pe­cially if you use mul­ti­ple com­put­ing de­vices. To make this re­ally ef­fec­tive and ease your work­flow, it is best to make Google Drive your de­fault doc­u­ments folder. This way, what­ever doc­u­ments you are work­ing on au­to­mat­i­cally get saved to the Drive. To make Google Drive your prime save lo­ca­tion for all new doc­u­ments, rightclick on your Win­dows Doc­u­ments folder and choose Prop­er­ties. Select In­clude a folder… and then find your way to your Google Drive folder. Here, select Google Drive from the list and

click on Set save lo­ca­tion fol­lowed by Ap­ply.

WHAT ABOUT OFF­LINE AC­CESS? Does Google Drive only al­low you to edit your files when you’re on­line and logged into your Google ac­count? First, the bad news. You can't edit Google doc­u­ments and spread­sheets with­out an In­ter­net connection. You can only gawk at them. The so­lu­tion to this is to open your Google doc­u­ment, spread­sheet or pre­sen­ta­tion file while you’re on­line and “down­load as” a Mi­crosoft Of­fice or OpenOf­fice file for edit­ing in the rel­e­vant ap­pli­ca­tions off­line. Iron­i­cally, the good news is that you can view, as well as edit, non-Google cre­ated doc­u­ments (Mi­crosoft Of­fice files, im­ages and PDFs), stored in your Google Drive folder even when you're off­line. Your changes to th­ese synced files will sync to all de­vices with a time stamp when you re­con­nect to the In­ter­net. To do this (pre­sum­ing you’ve al­ready in­stalled Google Drive), go into Drive via Gmail/Google while you’re on­line. Click on the “gear” drop­down. Here, select Set up Docs off­line from the menu. From the Set up off­line view­ing of Google Docs dialog that ap­pears, click on Al­low off­line docs. Hit In­stall from Chrome web store next to the dialog box. Next, in the Chrome web store click on In­stall and then hit the Google Docs icon to go back to your Google Drive.

ADDING CHROME APPS TO GOOGLE DRIVE: To add gar­nish to the Google Drive dish, it has launched with sup­port as many as 18 use­ful third party apps. Th­ese range from photo edit­ing to graph­i­cal cal­cu­la­tions to mind map­ping to floor plan­ning to fax­ing and more. This in ef­fect means that you are not con­strained to us­ing Google’s word pro­ces­sor, spread­sheet edi­tor, and pre­sen­ta­tion app and can de­ploy web apps de­vel­oped by other com­pa­nies within Drive as well. Apart from Chrome, you can also in­stall them on Opera and Fire­fox. To get a han­dle on th­ese free apps, go to: https://chrome.google.com/web­store/cat­e­gory/col­lec­tion/drive_apps If you want, you can make an the de­fault for its is com­pat­i­ble file type. So, for ex­am­ple, you can have the Chrome app, Pixlr Edi­tor to open all JPEG files in Google Drive. For this, go the Set­tings menu and select Man­age apps. Here, tick the check box next to “Make [App Name] the de­fault for files it can open” and hit Done.

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