Google has released a new Google Drive desktop app that replaces the old versions for both home and business. The new Drive app includes features from Google Photos, Backup & Sync (the old, mostly consumer app) and Drive File Stream (the old, business-oriented version).
Honestly, there doesn’t seem to be much new in the upgraded app – the update seems more like a cleanup and unification effort than anything else. Important features include:
- Upload and sync photos to Google cloud storage, including automatic compression and resizing, for those who choose ‘Save Save’ instead of the original image quality
- Sync external storage devices (thumb drives, USB hard drives, and SSDs) with Google Drive
- (Optional) two-way sync of files and folders: Automatically download files to local folders and vice versa
- Locally mounted Drive folders in Stream or Mirror mode: files are automatically downloaded on-demand or all files are automatically prefetched from the cloud
- In-app support for shared Google drives (new feature, was not present in Backup & Sync)
- Integration with Microsoft Outlook and Google Meet planning
Upgrade to the new Drive app
According to Google’s introduction, users of the older Backup and Sync app will be given in-app prompts to move to Drive for desktop, which users recommend completing by September this year.
Backup and Sync users will support a guided workflow for transitioning from the old app to the new on July 19, and Google Workspace domains (both Rapid and Scheduled release tracks) will see in-app notifications starting August 18 that request the transition. The outdated backup and the Sync app will completely stop working on October 1.
Who is this for?
The answer is simple, but we want to draw a heavy underscore because it’s not common these days—all Google services users can use the new Drive app. This includes free personal accounts and paid Google Workspace business accounts.
In other words, if you’re a Google Drive user, it’s time to download the new app – there’s no point in putting it off. If you’re a Google Workspace admin, you have two months to test and deploy the new app before Backup and Sync curls up and dies on October 1.
List image by Jim Salter