Back in January, we wrote about the launch of Memeo Connect — a nifty application that debuted alongside the Google Docs ‘upload any file‘ feature. The application makes it easy to sync documents between your computer’s desktop and Google Docs account, but Memeo says that version 1.0 didn’t match their full vision (they were trying to get the product out the door to meet the Google Docs feature launch). Today, Memeo is launching the 2.0 edition of Connect which includes all the functionality Memeo originally envisioned. And it’s bringing one new feature that many people have been waiting years for: GDrive.
A cloud-based Google storage service, AKA GDrive, was rumored since at least 2006, and in January it became a reality, sort of — Google started allowing users to upload any kind of file they wanted to their Google Docs accounts. At the same time, Google told us that it wasn’t GDrive “because GDrive doesn’t exist”. Right.
Semantics aside, the ‘any-file’ feature that launched on Google Docs couldn’t really be used as a networked drive with Memeo before now. With Memeo Connect 1.0, in order to upload files you’d have to drag them into the Memeo application or use a file upload widget, neither of which were particularly easy to use for a large number of files. With Memeo Connect 2.0, you’ll be able to actually create a virtual Google drive that ties into your PC’s file system. Memeo is coyly calling the feature GDrive, though they say that the name was Memeo’s choice, not Google’s.
Memeo’s GDrive lets you drag and drop entire folders into your Google Docs account, much as you would with a service like Dropbox. You can also save directly to this cloud-attached drive from an application’s ‘Save As’ command. If you open the drive, you can double click on files to open them with your desktop’s native software, then save the changes back to the cloud (again, as you would with services like Dropbox). The app is available for both Mac and Windows.
Along with the GDrive feature, the new version of Memeo Connect features a more robust search engine that lets you search both file names and the content of the files you’re storing in Google Docs (this content search works both for Google Docs files and ‘native’ files that were saved with a program like Microsoft Word). It also offers the ability to browse through your files using more advanced filters than the online version of Google Docs offers.
So why use Memeo for file storage when you could use another service like Dropbox, Box.net, or SugarSync? Spencer Chen, Director of Strategy and Business Development at Memeo, says that in the next few years consumers will trend toward the massive tech companies like Google and Microsoft for their cloud storage needs, the way they have with webmail services. He believes consumers will trust Google’s security measures more than a smaller companies (though it obviously isn’t infallible). He also contends that these smaller companies are going to have a hard time monetizing mass storage, whereas Google can just eat the cost.
Time will tell if those arguments are sound (I for one have been quite happy with Dropbox so far). But Chen did have a point that we’ll be able to observe in the shorter term: because Memeo Connect is running on Google’s backend, it can tap into Google’s wide array of technology. For example, the advanced search feature that’s live in Connect 2.0 is powered through a Google API. And Google will probably be rolling out new features in the future.
Chen also shared some updated stats on how Memeo Connect has done since it launched in January. So far, the the average company to deploy Memeo Connect has 10,000 employees, and 40% of Google’s top enterprise clients are testing or deploying the client.
Also see Syncplicity, another Google partner that lets you sync files between designated folders and your Google Docs account.