People looking to share photos and other documents across multiple devices as well as print them using ink cartridges could take advantage of a new cloud storage system unveiled by Google this week.

The internet firm announced the launch of its Google Drive project, which the company may be hoping will compete with other popular file-sharing and synchronisation offerings such as Dropbox – which recently revealed on Twitter it has the support of Bono and The Edge from U2, who have invested in the firm.

Users signing up to the solution will be able to take advantage of 5GB of free space on which to place their photos, videos and other content, while there will also be a range of paid options for those looking for more capacity.

On its official blog, Google said: "Whether you're working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiance or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive."

It added users will be able to post and reply to comments on any file types, including images, videos and PDF files, while integration with Google Docs allows people to collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations in real time.

As well as being able to install Drive on PCs and Macs, there will be apps available for phones running the Android operating system to access and upload files from mobile devices, with software for Apple's iOS expected to follow in the near future.

Individuals can also search for information by keyword and filter by file types, while Optical Character Recognition software means the service can even understand text from scanned documents.

"We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for 'grand canyon' and photos of its gorges should pop up," Google explained.

The company did point out however, that this technology is still in the early stages of development and its accuracy is expected to improve over time.