Drive up the wall: Google wants to clear up confusion around its Drive file sync and storage service. Although there’s just one Google Drive app on mobile, on the desktop there’s ‘Drive File Stream’ for Workspace/G Suite customers and ‘Backup and Sync’ for regular users. Following an update (version 45.0) to Drive File Stream last week, Google renamed this service to ‘Google Drive for desktop’. The company is now pushing to make it a unified client for all users by incorporating features from Backup and Drive, including the ability to upload media to Google Photos.
Google’s file sync offerings under its Drive service can get a bit complicated, especially if you’re a regular customer who relies on Backup and Sync for personal use and then has to manage Drive File Stream at work. It could also get messy if an organization used both solutions at the same time.
Thankfully, the company is streamlining things with Drive for desktop, a recent relabelling of the enterprise-focused Drive File Stream, in an effort to reduce confusion for all Google Drive users around which app to use on desktop. Google notes that IT admins and business end users won’t be impacted by this change and that it’s launched a beta for the new unified client that will combine the ‘best and most used features’ of Drive File Stream and Backup and Sync.
Google Drive for desktop will also be rolling out to regular users on PC later this year as a replacement for Backup and Sync. Consequently, they’d need to manually transition to the new unified client as Google retires its current consumer offering.
The company says it will give IT admins and end users three months’ notice before the deadline to transition to Drive for desktop. It will share more details on consumer timelines closer to availability.