Google is changing the way it provides free online storage to users of some of its services. Yesterday all Gmail users got about 10GB of free space for their email messages, while Google Drive and Google+ Photos users got 5GB to share between those services.
Starting today Google is offering a single pool of storage, which means that if you don’t use Gmail at all you can store up to 15GB of your files in Google Drive for free. Or you can send more email attachments. Or both. Or something.
The move means that Google Drive users now get 3 times as much free storage space as Dropbox users — but you’ll have to share that space with your Gmail account.
Google Apps customers will get 30GB of shared storage instead of 15GB.
The change should start rolling out soon, although my Gmail account still says it tops out at 10.1GB.
Since there’s now a single pool of online storage, it also means that if you pay extra to upgrade your account, all of that storage space will be available for Gmail, Google+ and Google Drive.
Up until now the largest Gmail box you could get was 25GB. But now it looks like you can pay $4.99 per month to upgrade to 100GB, or pay even more for additional storage. The most expensive plan offers 16TB of cloud storage for $799.99 per month.
Interestingly, this shared pool of cloud storage doesn’t seem to apply to Google Music. Users can still upload up to 20,000 songs to that service for free, but you can’t share storage space between your Music and Gmail or Drive accounts.