Alphabet’s sub-company, Google Inc has announced it will shut down completely it’s cloud storage service, Google Drive by March 12, 2018.
Google to shutdown Google Drive March next year
Although, the date is for finalizing the shutting down, Google Drive for both the PC and Mac will begin to die on December 11, Google said this week. Depending on whether you’re a business user or a strict consumer, it will be reborn as one of two new apps: Backup and Sync, for consumers, or Drive File Stream, for businesses.
Google said it will stop supporting the Drive app for Macs and PCs on December 11, and the Drive app will simply stop working on March 12, 2018. At that point, consumers will have to use Backup and Sync. Business customers subscribed to Google’s G Suite apps will be shifted over to Drive File Stream, a preview app that is now being pushed mainstream.
Back up and Sync – The Google Drive replacement
The major difference between Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream is the latter’s ability to stream files from the cloud—the popular “placeholder” capability that can display copies of all of your cloud-based files, without actually storing them on your PC.
Backup and Sync syncs files more traditionally, placing local copies on your desktop, and then backing them up in the cloud. If you want to back up your photos and videos, you’ll use Backup and Sync. Ditto with a generic USB drive that you want to add to the cloud.
Where it gets a bit confusing is if you’re working on a PC with G Suite access, because then you can use both services. Then it’s important to understand the differences between Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream (Google also published an explainer):
Backup and Sync:
- Access files in My Drive
- Sync selected folders in My Drive
- Use native Windows applications (such as Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop)
- Sync local folders, such as Documents or Desktop
Drive File Stream can do almost everything Backup and Sync can do, except sync local folders. In addition, it can:
- Access files in Team Drives
- Stream files on demand (the “placeholder” feature)
- Sync individual files in My Drive
Finally, Drive File Stream appears as a mounted drive under Windows Explorer, while Backup and Sync displays My Drive as a shortcut.