I'm trying to find out exactly what Google does so differently - and better - than all the other cloud storage providers.
All my files in Google Drive and Dropbox are encrypted by me and uploaded encrypted.
Google Drive displays all my files in Windows file explorer just like they would be locally. All extended file attributes, thumbnails, all available. I can see that info is sometimes stores locally (I assume in Google Drive databases) and most of the times it gets requested locally to Drive and the Google Drive Sync client polls and supplies the necessary information. It does not download the files, it just queries them for meta data and downloads a tiny bit of each file when I chose to have them displayed as thumbnails or to get the extended file attributes like File Length, Resolution, Subtitles etc.
Is that just a very clever Google doing its job right? Did they just decide to stream any file no matter what it is - because they dont know that my encrypted file is a video when I request it so they cant render or read anything on the backend so all that info has to come from the client pulling the file but just enough to get that info and then moving on to the next file. Listing even large folders with extensive additional meta data goes very quickly.
None of that works for Dropbox. The files are either online and all you get is file size and nothing else or they have to be downloaded, even for viewing. Nothing is streamed.
Is that a philosophical thing? Or is Dropbox despite its size and head start just a pale version of a cloud storage provider?
And what is this technology Google uses called? I cant find docs online.