Google has announced it is making major changes to its cloud storage service Google Drive.
Last week’s rather confusing announcement has led some to believe that Google Drive is being “killed off”, “scrapped” or “shutdown”, which isn’t the case. But there are some major changes coming that you need to be aware of.
Here’s what you need to know:
The major changes concern the Google Drive app for both PC and Mac. Google has said that this is going to be replaced by two new storage options.
Google revealed on its blog that support for Google Drive app on PC and Mac will end on 11 December 2017, and the service will shut down completely on 12 March 2108.
Importantly, you will still be able to access Google Drive from the web, its mobile apps or via one of the two new replacement services detailed below.
Users who are still using the Google Drive app will start to receive notifications from October informing them that the service is “going away”.
The tech giant will then steer users to one of two replacement services, depending on whether they are a business user of consumer.
The two new storage options are called ‘Backup and Sync’ and ‘Drive File Stream’.
What is Drive File Stream?
This is the service aimed at business users, which allows them to easily access and work on files stored directly on Google Drive.
The service hosts all files in the cloud so that they do not take up any space on your hard drive.
Rather than downloading a document or spreadsheet onto your computer, editing it and then uploading it back to Google Drive, Drive File Stream will simply let you open and edit the file straight from the cloud all in real time.
There’s no file syncing required and you can access all the files from any computer with an internet connection.
“Say goodbye to time-consuming file syncing and any concerns about disk space, Google said in its blog post.
“With Drive File Stream, all your files are always ready for you and your colleagues.”
What is Backup and Sync?
This is the storage option for most standard users. Google officially launched Backup and Sync on 8 September and the service is available now.
The service combines Google Drive and Google Photos and is very similar to the Google Drive app for desktop in terms of features and functionality.
With Backup and Sync, users can easily pick and choose which files they want to backup rather than syncing a whole folder.
If you are running the latest version of Google Drive you are likely to be already using Backup and Sync.
You can try the new Backup and Sync storage option here