In order to better manage files for both home users and enterprise needs, Google is introducing the new Drive app, which is slated to merge and replace the features of the outgoing Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync apps.
In a recent blog post, Google explained that the new Drive app is designed to be a unified client that lets you share and sync your files quickly and easily across all your devices and in the cloud. For the past few years, home users have relied on the Backup and Sync app for syncing and uploading files (which replaced the previous Drive app back in 2017/2018), while businesses relied on the Drive File Stream app to manage commercial storage needs.
Now, Google is looking to streamline its storage solutions with the new Drive app, which will replace both of its existing home and enterprise apps with a single piece of software, with support for both Windows PCs and Macs.
Google says the new Drive will incorporate all the best features of its previous solutions including the ability to upload and sync photos and videos to Google Photos and/or Google Drive, sync external storage devices with data from the cloud, and mirror content between the cloud and your local devices, so any potentially important files will be faster and easier to access.
The new Drive app will even come with new support for shared folders in Google Drive, which was not previously available in the Backup and Sync app. There is also said to be some sort of scheduling integration between the Google Drive app and both Google Meet and Microsoft Outlook.
Notably, it appears Google is hoping to transition users rather quickly from its old apps to the new Drive app, with Google saying that it will begin surfacing alerts asking Backup and Sync users to switch to the Drive app “in the coming weeks,” with Google recommending users to fully switch over by September.
After September, Google says Backup and Sync users will receive a notification saying that they will need to transition the Drive app in order to continue syncing files, with the Backup and Sync app slated to stop functioning on October 1.
While being forced to switch from one app to another is always a little annoying, with the new Drive app incorporating the features of two apps into one, the transition shouldn’t be too cumbersome and could even help people free up some space on their taskbars and docks. Meanwhile, business users can check out more detailed info on what this transition means for them here.
Google says the transition to the new Drive app will begin next week starting on July 19, with continued prompts and notifications being sent out to both Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream users throughout the summer.