Google announced on Wednesday, Sept. 6, that it is retiring the Google Drive app for PC and Mac. Support will officially halt on Dec. 11 and the app will shut down entirely by March 12, 2018.
Keep in mind that this refers to the standalone desktop app and not the online cloud storage service Google Drive. Users who still have the app installed will soon be notified that it is going to shut down.
Google Backup And Sync
Google aims to steer those users into using two of its new backup and upload apps, depending on whether they're regular or business users. Regular folks would probably shift to using Backup and Sync, which replaces both the Google Drive and Google Photos Uploader apps.
Backup and Sync is somewhat similar to Google Drive but easier to use and more efficient. With it, users can set certain folders to be uploaded automatically to the cloud. The previous backup solution was useful but rather clunky.
Google Drive File Stream
As for business or G Suite users, they're going to get the new Drive File Stream tool, which aims to save local hard drive space by giving access to Google Drive files on demand, "directly from your computer." Since Drive File Stream is geared for businesses, it'll probably serve as a more elegant and efficient option than Backup and Sync.
Both are largely similar but have crucial differences. Check out Google's help page to see which one is a better fit. Most folks would probably do fine with Backup and Sync, but some might look for expanded options Drive File Stream can offer. For instance, with Drive File Stream, users can access files in Team Drives or stream files on demand — none of which is possible with Backup and Sync.
When Will Drive File Stream Roll Out To Every User?
Drive File Stream was launched to early adopters back in March. Google has officially rolled it out now and is accessible via Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Data Access. Google says Drive Files Stream will generally be available starting Sept. 26. In the meantime, Google has it turned "On" for all G Suite customers.
The company says Drive for PC or Mac is basically dead, and that users should download either of the two backup tools mentioned above as an alternative solution. It doesn't seem this will affect users that dramatically since Backup and Sync and Drive Files Stream are practically near-identical replacements.
Thoughts about Backup and Sync or Drive File Stream? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments section below!