Gmail Allows 10 GB File Sharing with Google Drive

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By Doug Gross

(CNN) — Frustrated that you can’t share files the size of your entire music collection via e-mail? Google wants to help.

Gmail users can now send files of up to 10 GB using Google Drive, the Web giant’s cloud-storage service.

That’s 400 times bigger than files that can be shared in a regular e-mail, according to a blog post by Google’s Gmail team.

And because the files are stored in the cloud, all recipients will always have the latest version of the file — in the case of a document that’s being amended over time, for example.

“So whether it’s photos from your recent camping trip, video footage from your brother’s wedding, or a presentation to your boss, all your stuff is easy to find and easy to share with Drive and Gmail,” the post reads.

Drive, and before that Google Docs, already allowed users to share large files. But the new feature is more streamlined, letting them do so without leaving Gmail.

Launched in April, Google Drive offers users 5 GB of free storage, with each additional 25 GB going for $2.49.

The move is part of an ongoing effort by Google to synchronize its various services, from Gmail to social network Google Plus to the Android mobile operating system. The ability to sync with Gmail offers Google a built-in edge over standalone cloud storage tools like Dropbox.

“Should services like Dropbox be concerned? Sort of,” wrote Ricardo Bilton of VentureBeat. “As the move shows, Google’s core strength is in its ability to connect and integrate its various services — even the unpopular ones — into one cohesive product. This gives Drive a clear edge over competing standalone cloud services, so expect Google to leverage it as much as possible.”

The file-sharing feature will be rolled out over the next few days, according to Google. Users must have opted in to Gmail’s “Compose” tool in order to use it.

Google announced this year that Gmail has more than 425 million active users.

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