Google to consolidate desktop file syncing apps into singular Drive app

Backup and Sync and Drive File Stream will be phased out in the coming months, replaced by Drive for desktop.
Written by Campbell Kwan, Contributor
Image: Google

Google has announced it will be replacing its two file syncing desktop apps with a new unified app, called Drive for desktop, that will be used by all users.

The tech giant currently offers two file syncing services: Backup and Sync, which is aimed at consumers, and Drive File Stream, which was built for business users.

Google consolidated the apps into one unified app as it wanted to create a client that could "bring people the best and most used features" from the two older apps, Google Drive product management lead Scott Limbird explained in a blog post.

Drive for desktop will automatically sync local files to the cloud in the background, on either Google Photos or Google Drive, Google said. It will also sync external storage devices to the cloud, including flash drives and external hard drives, as well as mirror Drive files on desktops.

The rollout of Drive for desktop has also commenced, with Drive File Stream users already gaining access to the new unified app.

For Backup and Sync users, Google said they should begin to see prompts asking them to transition to Drive for desktop in the coming months.

Drive for desktop will be available for Windows and macOS devices.

On the same day, Google also announced support for various brand logos such as AOL, Fastmail, Mailchimp, Twilio SendGrid, and Yahoo, thanks to a new agreement between Google and the AuthIndicators Working Group, which created the Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI).

BIMI was already available to Yahoo users but it will now be expanded to Gmail users too, resulting in BIMI being available to more than 2 billion inboxes. For a logo to appear, the organisation needs to pass DMARC authentication checks.

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