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Today, Google announced a new way to store your files online: Google Drive. This new service lets you sync files from your Mac and your Google Docs folder interchangeable. It's incredibly useful if you like to type out your documents in the cloud and use your iPad to do work, and it's a worthy alternative to using iWork and iCloud. We’ll take you through the process of enabling this new service on your Mac, and we'll also show you how to properly encrypt your files while they're in the cloud.
>> Google account (which you already have if you use Gmail)
>> Google Drive client for Mac
Setting up Google Drive is easy, if you already have access. Open your web browser and navigate to drive.google.com. If you have access, you will be able to log into the site. However, you may need to join a wait list if your account is not yet available for Google Drive.
If your account is ready to use Google Drive, you’ll get a popup notification asking if you wish to try Google Drive. Click the blue “Try Google Drive” button to begin.
On the next page, you’ll be given all of the details about Google Drive. Click once more on the blue “Download Google Drive” button to download the application.
After downloading, double-click on the “installgoogledrive.dmg” disk image and drag the “Google Drive” application to your Applications folder in the Finder. Double-click on the application to begin the set up process.
Note: After completing this walkthrough, Google will create a Google Drive folder inside your Home folder and placed in the Finder sidebar. This is the location where your files will be synced. Existing files from Google Docs will automatically sync after completing the walkthrough process.
Despite being secure, we just feel a little uneasy about trusting all of our most important files to Google. That’s why we’d rather encrypt our files we’re storing in Google Drive.
We’ll do this in Automator, and since Automator doesn’t have a way to automatically encrypt files in a DMG, we’ll install a free Automator action from Automator World to create the Disk Images for us.
After installing the “CreateDiskImageFromFiles.action” Automator action you just downloaded (by double-clicking on it), we’ll open Automator (located in /Applications) and create a new blank workflow. Drag the following actions into the new workflow:
- Get Specified Finder Items
- Create Disk Image from Files
In “Create Disk Image from Files” action, set “Google Drive” as the Image Location, and check the boxes for Compress Image and Encrypt Image. Next, click the Options tab and check “Show this action when the workflow runs” and “Show only the selected items.” Check the “Image Name” field to be shown.
When you want to add some encrypted files to your Google Drive account, simply drag the files from the Finder into the top action of the workflow (Get Specified Finder Items), and run the workflow.
You’ll be prompted to enter a name of the encrypted disk image (enter something that’s rememberable), and then click the Continue button.
Next, you’ll be asked to enter and verify a password for the encrypted disk image. You’ll need to remember this password in order to open the encrypted disk image later.
To open the encrypted image, just double-click on it inside your Google Docs folder, and then type your password (if asked).
Cory Bohon is a freelance technology writer, indie Mac and iOS developer, and amateur photographer. Follow this article's author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.