Big news from the Google-verse: Google’s engineers will begin to replace Google Drive on December 11th of this year. While the program isn’t going away entirely, it will look quite a bit different than it did. Here’s what you can expect from the process:
The Changes to Google Drive
Google is re-imagining Drive as two separate apps: one for individual users and one for businesses. It’s important to note that Google isn’t changing the Drive functionality, just the apps that power it. As it stands now, Google Drive provides 15GB of cloud storage for users. It also makes it possible to access them from any device that uses Drive, including a vast selection of iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.
The significant change in December will look like this: Google will pull its support from the Drive app that works on PCs and Macs. By March 12 of 2018, the app will lose all Google support and stop working altogether.
What Comes Next
After the Google Drive app stops working, Google will point users to a functionality called Backup and Sync. If you’re a business user who subscribes to the G Suite apps, your file storage processes will be automatically shifted to Drive File Stream, which offers many of the same functionalities of Backup and Sync, but features some significant differences, as well.
The primary difference between the two platforms is simple. While Backup and Sync stores your files securely, Drive File Stream allows users to “stream” files from the cloud. Backup and Sync, meanwhile, lets users access local copies of a file on the desktop of a computer and backs them up in the cloud for secure access and functionality. This service is ideal for anyone who uses Google’s Suite of products to store videos and photos, or back traditional USBs up to the cloud.
What Google Drive’s Changes Mean for PC Users
If you’re using a PC to access G Suite, you’ll be able to access a particular hack that allows you to use both Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream.
Both services allow you to access the files in your Drive, sync selected folders, and use applications like Photoshop and Microsoft Word. Drive File Stream, however, is the more well-rounded program and allows Team Drive file access, on-demand file streaming, and syncing individual files. If you still have questions, you can check out Google’s explainer on the topic.
There are some system requirements associated with the new platforms. According to Google, Drive File Stream will work on the following operating systems:
- Windows: Windows 7 and up
- Mac: El Capitan (10.11) and up
Backup and Sync, meanwhile, will work on Browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, and Microsoft Edge. It will not, however, work with older versions of some browsers, including Chrome 23, Firefox 23, and Safari 6.
Migrating to the New System
While some users are nervous about the migration to Google’s new platforms, Google’s priority is to keep the platforms simple and self-explanatory. While it states that Drive File Stream is ideal for most organizations since it allows companies to minimize sync time and clear up much-needed disc space, Backup and Sync is designed for consumers, and stores content locally.
Both platforms provide easy access, streamlined functionality, and Google’s predictable elegance and simplicity. As the changes continue to roll out, you can expect to find lots of helpful explainers and FAQs, published both by Google and other organizations.