Google’s New “Save To Drive” Button Lets Website Visitors Save Files To Google’s Online Storage

Posted: May 10, 2013 in Google, GT

Google announced today an expansion of its online
storage efforts with the release of a “Save to Drive”
button that can be added to any website, allowing
visitors to click and save files hosted on the site to
their personal Google Drive accounts. The button is
already being used by Bigstock, Delta Dental, Fotolia, O’Reilly, Outbox and Zen Payroll,
Google notes. To use the new feature as a website owner, it’s only a
matter of pasting a couple of lines of code into your
site’s HTML. The button is configured with a few
attributes in a “div” tag, similar to how Google’s +1
button is created, the company says. There are a
number of more advanced configurations, which Google explains in technical detail here, including
support for the Save to Drive button’s JavaScript API,
which allows for programmatic and more flexible
control of the buttons on your web pages. The button works in the context of the user’s browser,
allowing visitors to save files that require some form
of HTTP authentication. After clicking the button, the
file is first downloaded to the user’s browser, then
uploaded to Google Drive. It’s a small utility, but it addresses a larger issue with
using cloud storage: Often, to move files found on the
web to your personal online storage site, you first
have to save those items to the desktop in an
intermediary step. But in Google’s vision, the desktop
is fading away, and everything will be built on top of the web’s platform instead. This is most apparent in Google’s efforts with its
Chrome OS and Chromebook devices, including the
newer, high-end Chromebook Pixel, a flagship device
meant to demonstrate the potential in a web-only
machine. Google has already made it easier for users to forgo
saving files to their computers in a number of
products, including within Gmail, where optional links
have long since allowed you to open standard file
types without first downloading them. That feature
today supports all the major attachments that people send
(e.g. .pdf, .doc, .xls, .ppt, .rtf, .sxw, .sxc, .sxi, .sdw, .sdc, .sdd
and .wml). Google Drive, however, supports an even
wider range of file types, which will make the button
useful for sharing the kinds of files that a website
owner may want to share, such as videos, graphics, archives (.zip and .rar), markup and code and more.

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