Google is making it easier for users to send large files via email by integrating its cloud storage service Google Drive into Gmail. The move means users will be able to send files up to 10GB in size, or up to 400 times the current limit of 25MB for "traditional attachments" -- although that's assuming the user is paying for extra Google Drive space since the cutoff for free cloud storage is 5GB.
Of course, Google isn’t actually sending the files as attachments, but rather sending a link to your recipients who can then access them through Google Drive. You can do as much using a third party cloud storage service like Dropbox, but the fact that Google's services are tightly integrated does presents some advantages.
Once the feature is active -- Google is rolling it out gradually -- users will see a Drive icon next to the paperclip for traditional attachments. Click on it and you'll be able to select files to share from your cloud storage account. Gmail will automatically check whether all recipients can access the file, and if that's not the case, you'll be prompted change the sharing settings without leaving your email. The feature works similarly to Google's forgotten attachment detector, and will even work with Drive links that are pasted directly into emails.
The feature will certainly come in handy to existing Drive users. That said, I can't help but feel Google could have gone a step further by actually integrating this into the existing attachments feature, so that anything above 25MB is automatically uploaded to your Google Drive -- thus boosting the service's user base.
Google noted that anyone interested in taking advantage of the new feature will need to opt-in to Gmail's new chat-like compose tool, which was introduced in a separate update late last month.
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