Both iCloud and Google Drive are designed for a similar purpose—content storage. The big difference is one is Apple’s creation, and the other is Google’s. Both give users the chance to store huge amounts of data, including documents, videos, and contacts. But is one better than the other? In this post, we compare the pros and cons of each to help you choose the best option for you.
iCloud is Apple’s storage solution for its users. If you’re an apple user, iCloud is already built-in into your device, and probably synced with all your native apps. But even without an iPhone, you can still use iCloud and all its best features, including up to 2TB of data storage, a secure mailbox, and a great range of productivity tools. iCloud offers users a free plan with 5GB included for free.
Google Drive is offered to anyone with a Google account and comes already plugged into Android phones. Like iCloud, Google Drive also comes with 2TB of storage, productivity tools like calendars, a photo manager, and a filing system. Google Drive also comes with Gmail, one of the most universal tools in the world. You can get up to 15GB of storage for free with Google Drive.
iCloud and Google Drive Compared to the Best Cloud Storage Services.
Below, you’ll find our top recommendations for the best places to store your files safely and easily on the web, based on pricing, security, reliability, and range of features. You can read the full review here.
Sync is our top recommendation for most people because it’s easy to use and easy to navigate, plus it has tons of collaboration features for teams and powerful security settings. Want to try it for yourself? Sign up and get 5GB of storage free.
pCloud is the best choice for anyone looking for a long-term storage solution, thanks to its lifetime storage plans, 365-day recovery options, and military-grade encryption upgrades. Sign up for a free account and receive 10GB of storage for free.
Icedrive is perfect for anyone trying to keep things simple. It’s compatible with all apps, has a dashboard you can use the same way you would a USB, and has some of the lowest pricing for storage on the market. Sign up now to get 10GB free of storage.
iCloud Compared to Google Drive
When it comes to cloud storage, Google Drive and iCloud usually come out on top. This is, in part, because each one is automatically built into either iPhones or Androids respectively, but also because they’re both great services. Let’s take a look at the best features each has to offer, and what makes them leaders in the cloud storage space.
iCloud offers users storage options for a range of features, including photos, documents, notes, calendars, contacts, pages, and more. Although it is designed to work best with Apple products, it’s still available for anyone with an internet connection, and users can upgrade from a little storage to a lot, with competitive pricing that includes a big range of features.
And, because it’s part of the Apple brand, one of iCloud’s biggest selling points is its focus on security and privacy. iCloud is one of the best storage services in the world when it comes to security, with end-to-end encryptions throughout most of its features as well as 128-bit AES standard encryption both in transit and at rest.
Aside from its tech specs and security, Icloud also really stands out as offering users great support options. Not only does it include a huge library of support articles, video tutorials, and a community forum, but you also have the option to call support on a free plan, which Google Drive doesn’t offer.
Google Drive Highlights
Google Drive is a great, accessible cloud storage option for anyone, with apps available on desktop and on both iOS and Android devices. More than anything, Google Drive is just easy to use. The interface is clean, you can access it just as easily on a desktop as you can on a mobile, and it integrates easily with other storage and email providers.
Google Drive also has a huge suite of features for storage and productivity. Even though Google Drive itself only includes files and documents, having a Google Drive account gives users access to Gmail storage, photos, spreadsheets, calendars, and video conferencing tools.
Google Drive also shines when it comes to collaboration and teamwork. All the storage options and features can easily be shared with other people, and things like docs or sheets can be viewed and edited by other parties. Having a Google Drive account also gives users access to Google Meet, which is a useful business feature that iCloud doesn’t really offer.
iCloud vs. Google Drive: Pros and Cons
When we were looking at the differences between iCloud and Google Drive, there were a lot of similarities when it came to the range of features, functionality, and popularity. However, we noticed that there were some big differences users mentioned when it came to things like customer service, speed, and pricing. Here are the things people liked, and didn’t like, about each service.
Where iCloud Shines
Reliability: Because Icloud is built into all Apple devices, it’s no surprise that one of the features most users reported loving was how easily Icloud synced content from different devices. Even for those who don’t use Apple, iCloud got rave reviews for its reliable backups and syncs, and its ability to consistently retrieve and restore information.
Usability: Most users were happy with Icloud’s clean, minimalistic interface, and found it simple to access, use, and transfer or share files. Users also commented on how easy it was to search for documents, even for PC users on a desktop.
Security: Icloud was constantly praised in reviews for its high standard of security, and many users reported feeling like their data was safer than on other platforms. iCloud’s end-to-end encryption, as well as giving users the option of hiding their email address when they want to, makes it a popular choice for those wanting to prioritize privacy.
Productivity: Icloud comes with plenty of features that help users stay productive, including a reminders feature, a mailbox, a secure password keychain, and a document feature called Pages. Positive reviews often talked about how easy it was to stay organized when using iCloud, especially for users who have more than one Apple product.
Integrations: Although Icloud doesn’t have an app for Android, it does integrate easily with lots of software like Outlook and Office. Users said they found it easy to share files to third-party software or across other accounts.
Where iCloud Needs Improvement
Low Starter Storage: One of the biggest complaints users had for iCloud was the fact that the free storage plan only starts at 5GB. Compared to Google Drive, whose free plan starts at 15GB, the 5GB that iCloud offers can fill up quickly, especially for anyone with lots of photos, meaning users have to upgrade faster to a paid version.
Compatibility with PC: Another point of weakness for Icloud was its lack of compatibility with PCs and Android in general. It’s possible to use iCloud from a web browser on any device, but the functionality isn’t as good as it is on Apple products and the interface is less clean and simple. Plus, there’s no iCloud app to download on an Android, but Google Drive does have an iOs app on offer for non-Android users.
Speed: Although users didn’t seem to mind too much, a few reviews talked about how iCloud can experience a few glitches here and there, especially when it comes to loading photos with a slow connection. iCloud is also usually a little slower than Google Drive when it comes to uploading things like large files or big collections of photos.
Where Google Drive Shines
Popularity: One of Google Drive’s biggest strengths is that everyone uses Google. Even most Apple users have a Gmail account, which means that most people online are using Google Drive for something or other. This gave it great reviews from users in terms of how easy it was to share, sync, and edit files in a team or even with family members.
Ease of Use: Google Drive has a simple, clean interface, and the other features included in the Google account like mail and photos are easily displayed and easy to navigate. Quite a few of Google Drive’s features, like Google Docs, are generally easier to learn and start using than some of iCloud’s counterparts, like Pages.
Pricing: Unlike iCloud, which only offers users 5GB of free storage, Google Drive gives users 15GB for free. This means that users can store a lot more before they have to start paying for a plan, which makes Google Drive a more attractive option for people who just want a little extra storage without a commitment.
Compatibility: Something that makes Google Drive stand out against iCloud is how easily it can be added to any device – including iPhones or Macs. Google Drive has an iOs app and is pre-added to most Android phones, plus it has a really easy web version that can be pinned to a search bar. In comparison, iCloud loses a lot of its functionality and overall value for non-apple users.
Collaboration Features: Google Drive really stands out when it comes to file sharing and collaborating amongst teams. One of the big things users talked positively about in reviews was being able to share, comment on, and edit docs, sheets, or files in Google Drive, as well as the photo-sharing options and video conferencing features.
Where Google Drive Needs Improvement
Customer Support: One place Google Drive is severely lacking is customer support. Although Google Drive does have plenty of FAQs and articles for users, there is no way to contact them about problems without upgrading to a paid plan. iCloud, on the other hand, lets any user schedule a call to help them resolve issues, even on a free plan.
Security: Although Google Drive does use encryption, especially when transferring data, users reported feeling less secure than they did on iCloud. One of the main reasons people cited for this was how easy it was for a document or file to get shared with another email or accessed by other people.
Finding Files: Quite a lot of users complained about Google Drive’s search bar, saying that it wasn’t always intuitive when they were searching for files. In comparison, iCloud received lots of positive reviews for its file searching feature, and for how much easier that made it for users to stay productive.
The Last Word on iCloud Compared to Google Drive
Both iCloud and Google Drive are affordable, reliable options for anyone looking for some online storage or for a way to back up their files and sync their devices. They both have a huge library of features available even for free accounts, millions of users, and years’ worth of success to secure their reputations.
While you could easily choose either and be happy, if you’re looking for security and customer service, iCloud is your best bet. If, on the other hand, you want more storage for less and more business-oriented features, Google Drive is probably for you. Realistically, though, the choice is even easier; if you have an Apple product, use iCloud. If you use Android, choose Google.
If you want to broaden your options, there are plenty of other great, and equally reputable, cloud storage services out there you could choose instead. Dropbox is a great one, as are Sync, Icedrive, and Zoolz. If you want to find out whether another cloud storage software might be for you, check out our review of the best options here.