Google is a company that often has multiple solutions to the same problem. That sometimes works well in weeding out ineffective products, but, most of the time, it results in confusion, inconsistency, and uncertainty. That’s true not just in messaging apps, for example, but even when it comes to cloud syncing and backup. Fortunately, Google has been working to fix the latter with one sync client to rule them all, and that Drive for desktop application is now being made available for Windows and Mac users.
Before this, Google had two cloud sync clients targeted at different audiences but with overlapping features. Backup and Sync was the only solution available for consumers, while Drive File Stream was exclusive to business customers. Those are being smashed into one, and Google promises that it will offer the best of both worlds.
Drive for desktop allows Google Drive users to access their files on the desktop without having to go through a Web browser. More than that, however, it offers convenient backup and sync features to remove the work of manually moving files to and from the cloud. That even includes uploading and syncing images to Google Photos.
The Drive for desktop app also supports syncing flash drives and external hard drives to the cloud, for cloud backup, for example. If network bandwidth is an issue, you can also opt to mirror files on your local device to have instant access to them. While this saves bandwidth, it doesn’t free up space on your local storage and the file might get out of sync, depending on the situation.
Drive for desktop is now available for download for Windows and Mac. Backup and Sync users are advised to switch to the new client by September this year. After that point, they will no longer be able to sync files using the old client. Drive File Stream customers have it easier as they don’t have to do anything since Google will simply rename it to Drive for desktop when it flips the switch.