Google on Monday announced a change to how it offers free cloud storage to its users: 15GB will now be shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+. This change will start rolling out over the next couple of weeks.
Previously, Google offered 10GB for Gmail plus another 5GB for Drive and Google+ Photos. Now the company has decided that it makes more sense to unify the free storage across its three services.
As part of the change, Google is tweaking its Drive storage page to show a pie chart that breaks down your storage use across the trio. Here’s how it looks:
As before, you can still upgrade your storage space. Plans range from $4.99 per month for 100GB to $799.99 per month for 16TB.
What is most interesting for Gmail users here is that the 25GB upgrade is no longer the limit. Any additional storage you purchase will also apply to Google’s email service.
The Google Apps story is only slightly different: Google is offering its business customers 30GB of unified storage across Drive and Gmail. Storage will also be shared with photos customers upload to Google+ larger than 2048px, and just as before, files created in Docs, Sheets and Slides don’t count against this storage quota.
Here’s the updated Google Drive storage page for enterprise customers:
Google Apps customers are also no longer limited to 25GB for their inboxes. Once again, additional purchased storage can be shared and used by Gmail.
This unification will help Google market how much storage it offers by default, as well as push its storage plans to existing users. It’s not so much a smart move, as a necessary and obvious one.