Google recently announced that they are making some major changes to Google Drive; in essence, it’s going away. Did you freak out? We did! …Until we learned more about what’s really happening, that is. We’ll explain everything you need to know before they roll out the initial changes in the near future, and the rest over the next year.
Google Drive is certainly being retooled and diverted, but if you’re accustomed to accessing Drive from your browser, that won’t change. You can still log into Gmail and open Drive, but eventually what you see there may look different. The major changes are happening to the desktop applications on both PC and Mac. The current version of the app will not be supported starting on December 11, 2017.
Once Drive is officially deprecated on December 11th, you’ll need to choose from one of two new desktop applications: either Backup and Sync or Drive File Stream. The two programs do essentially the same things, but Drive File Stream is designed for group or corporate work in mind. It also offers additional features that aren’t available in the recently-released Backup and Sync option. Backup and Sync is intended for individual users who are not collaborating on files or looking to stream files on demand. The other differences between the two applications are as follows:
The most exciting part of the coming Drive File Stream application is the ability to edit large files directly in the cloud. For example, instead of downloading a design or presentation file, editing it in its native program, and then re-uploading it to Drive in order to share, you’ll simply edit it right there in the new application. This will significantly reduce the amount of files taking up storage on your device as well as the time spent moving things around, waiting for them to open, and sharing them with others.
What You Need to Do
There’s no reason to wait until December 11th to move forward with a new application. You can already download and deploy Backup and Sync here and will be able to deploy Drive File Stream on September 26th. The catch is that you must choose one or the other; you’ll get an error message if you download both and attempt to use them interchangeably. In our opinion, you may as well choose Drive File Stream for its extra features even if you end up not utilizing them heavily. Google Drive in its current form will be completely dismantled by March 2018.