Drive App plans to merge its Backup and Sync desktop service with a new unified platform that can be used by consumers and businesses alike.
In a blog post last week, Google said it would begin onboarding users on July 19th, 2021, but asks people who use Backup and Sync to switch before October 1st, 2021.
It will take users of Backup and Sync some time to adjust to the new app (renamed Drive for Enterprise), but those who already use Drive App File Stream (aka Drive for desktop) should have no problems, Google says.
It will create a unified sync client that combines the best features of consumer apps and enterprise services. These new features will make it easier for consumers to use and easier for IT teams to manage. Interestingly, this is also a reversal of Google’s confusing decision to split Google Drive App into two apps in 2017.
In a blog post explaining how the desktop Drive client works, Google pointed out that anyone familiar with its previous services should be able to use it. The Drive app will allow you to easily access files and photos stored in the cloud, and it will sync your files in the background so they are always up to date.
According to Google, the app can sync external storage devices like flash drives to Drive, mirror files between Drive and local files on your desktop computer, and let you choose whether to store individual photos and videos in Google Photos or Drive.
Google plans to begin switching users over to Backup and Sync next Monday, July 19th. The following timeline from Google shows the transition for users:
Introducing a guided flow to help users transition from Backup and Sync to Drive for desktop as of July 19, 2021.
Those still using Backup and Sync will receive in-product notifications urging them to switch to Drive for desktop on August 18th, 2021.
Any users still using Backup and Sync after October 1st of 2021 will no longer be able to log in. It is required for users to move to Google Drive for desktop if they wish to maintain synchronization with Drive and/or Google Photos.