updated 08:25 pm EDT, Fri April 20, 2012
Video showing drive pulled within minutes
Google's answer to cloud storage, Google Drive, made an inadvertent appearance at a Google+ hangout video very briefly available today. A developer was demonstrating a new app's sharing capabilities, and the previously leaked multicolored triangular icon rumored for the service was shown in the available destinations. The leak was discovered quickly, leading to the video being pulled and replaced with another version of the video lacking the footage in question.
Where competing services like Dropbox and Box.net provide basic cloud file storage, Google's offering is expected to provide more elements of an all-in-one comprehensive syncing product similar to Apple's iCloud service, integrating mail, contacts, music, and more. Google Docs, an existing Google cloud solution, launched in 2006. Google docs currently provides 10GB of document storage for free. Documents stored in native Google Docs format don't count towards the 10GB total.
Google Drive as a discrete cloud storage system has been rumored since 2008. An API for close application integration is expected to be released alongside the service. At launch, 5GB of storage for free is expected. Paid upgrade options are likely. Previous leaks suggest file storage uses the dropbox method, using a local folder to synchronize with the Google Drive servers. Initial reports suggested only desktop OS and Android integration, but further leaked information pointed toward an app for Apple's iOS 5. A service launch is rumored to take place the week of April 22, but may be held to coincide with Google I/O, Google's annual developer conference taking place June 27 through 29.