Google is retiring popular Google Drive apps for Mac and Windows in the coming months. Support for Google Drive Mac and Windows app will end by December 11 of this year while the products will cease to exist by the month of March 12 in 2018.
Google is doing this in preference for two new tech that it hinted way back – Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync. The latter is out and is available as a replacement to both Google Drive app and Google Photos app on Mac and Windows. While Backup and Sync can be consumed by users of all kinds, normal users and G Suite customers, Drive File Stream is different and is aimed at enterprise solutions.
Drive File Stream will be be available for all G Suite edition customers from September 26 of this year. General notification will be made available in the admin console of all G Suite organizations in the coming days.
Here’s what Drive File Stream will help achieve. Drive File Stream will enable all users using the app to share real-time changes across all devices they have Drive File Stream installed in, and with team members. Drive File Stream will also help them stream content on demand, and work on them.
The current technical workflow’s that, when you wish to work with a file available on Google Drive, you will have to download the file from Google Drive using the Google Drive website console or using the Google Drive apps, make changes and upload it again to your Google Drive folder. With Drive File Stream, you can stream the file on demand, work on it with any app on your computer and the changes will be saved to your Google Drive, all in real-time.
Drive File Stream will also enable members of teams to access other members’ files using a new section called Team Drives. Team Drive is a new section that will host all your team members files, like how the My Drive section on your Google Drive account holds your Google Drive account files.
Backup and Sync, on the other hand, is an approach aimed at both G Suite consumers and regular consumers. Backup and Sync was launched a few months back, and enables users to synchronize all files in their Desktop, Pictures or Documents folders across all the computers. Notably, Backup and Sync also replaced the Google Photos backup tool on computers. Backup and Sync is a single solution to both Google Drive and Google Photos computer apps.
Compare Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync in-depth on this Google support page.
Note that Google Drive is not going away. Only the app names are being changed. Google Drive will continue to be available as a service, the Google Drive website portal will continue to be available.