Mac and PC users will now have to steel themselves to bid goodbye to the Google Drive app for desktops. The tool has officially been deprecated by the company and is being pushed out in favor of 2 new replacements.
Google plans to end support for Drive on 11 December 2017 and then shut it down completely on 12 March 2018. It should be noted that this only affects the desktop app and not the online service itself. People who are running it on their computers will get notifications telling them that the tool is going away starting in October.
Users will be faced with 2 options. One would be to use the consumer-facing Backup and Sync app that replaces both Google Drive and Photos. It’s pretty similar to the current format, so it shouldn’t be too big of a leap for people.
The other choice is called Drive File Stream. It’s specifically meant for enterprise customers who require more power tools. Advantages include Team Drives access, the ability to stream files on demand, and sync individual files in My Drive. The one thing it can’t do is sync other folders like Documents and Desktop which Backup and Sync can.
While Backup and Sync is live now, Drive File Stream will be available for all G Suite organizations starting from 26 September 2017. The key difference between the two is that the first takes up space on a computer and the second streams files directly from the cloud to a PC or Mac, thereby freeing up disk space and bandwidth.