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Desktops (Apple) Google Data Storage Software Technology

The Google Drive App For PC, Mac Is Being Shut Down In March (theverge.com) 92

Google announced in a blog post today that the Google Drive app for desktop will be shut down. The Verge reports: Support will be cut off on December 11th and the app will shut down completely on March 12th, 2018. Users who are still running the Drive app will start seeing notifications in October that it's "going away," and the company will steer customers towards one of two replacements depending on whether they're a consumer or business user. Google Drive the service isn't going anywhere. You can still access it from the web, smartphone apps, and either of the software options mentioned below. Google now has two fairly new software tools for backing up your data and/or accessing files in the cloud. There's Backup and Sync, the all-encompassing consumer app that replaces both the standalone Google Drive and Google Photos Uploader apps. It offers essentially the same functionality as Drive and works much the same way. And on the enterprise side, Google has rolled out Drive File Streamer, which saves space on your local drive while providing access to "all of your Google Drive files on demand, directly from your computer."
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The Google Drive App For PC, Mac Is Being Shut Down In March

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  • by jimprdx ( 5063315 ) on Thursday September 07, 2017 @08:55PM (#55156705)

    The Drive app is replaced by the "backup and sync" app which does EXACTLY the same thing (plus you can sync directories other than the "Google Drive" one). It has a different icon and name, but it is basically an update, a version 2.0. The functionality is not "going away", if you install the new program is removes and replaces the old one, you don't even need to login again, everything is carried over.

    So, what's the problem?

    • No problem for people like you and me. But I get called on from time to time to help non computer illiterate friends and family do things on their computer. For people like this any change is a problem.
      • I get called on from time to time to help non computer illiterate friends and family do things on their computer. For people like this any change is a problem.

        It's far past time we allow these people to languish in their refusal to use critical thinking to solve their own problems. Hell, they don't even have to think much, just follow the flowchart! https://xkcd.com/627/ [xkcd.com]

        • Just wait till you're old.
        • It's far past time we allow these people to languish in their refusal to use critical thinking to solve their own problems.

          Let them eat cake!

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          Often the problem is with accessing Google Search in the first place, which makes the "Google the name of the program plus a few words related to what you want to do. Follow any instructions." node ineffective. Or they get to the "Pick one at random." node and end up picking the one option that causes data loss, not knowing that it will cause data loss. For this and other reasons, certain of my relatives reach the "Have you been trying this for over half an hour? - Yes" edge fairly consistently.

      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

        But I get called on from time to time to help non computer illiterate friends and family do things on their computer.

        My non computer illiterate friends and family call on me too, sometimes. It's the non computer literate ones that eat my time.

        • You know when I wrote that I wrote 'non computer literate' the first time, then when I quickly reviewed I only saw 'computer literate', thought that was wrong and changed it and hit send.
          I need to learn to slow down...
      • I don't care about computer illiterate, I personally don't feel like having "another thing to do." I'm constantly hassled with software updates that switch up my routine, and at this point I'm starting to just prefer paper. After all, it isn't "just" Google that wants to dream up the next great paradigm to force everyone else to learn. I'm tired and busy, and installing some stupid update and re-learning it is ANOTHER piece of crap I have to deal with. It feels like every so often, I launch an app and am g

        • It's update fatigue. If you only ever use one or two apps then regular continuous updates sound like the right idea, keeping you up to date on top. But since most people have dozens of apps they regularly use, the constant updates overtake your life. It's at the point now where I stop using apps because the update fatigue is not worth it.
          Developers need to understand that their app is only one of millions that we use and should take that into account when introducing change.
    • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

      Why, I suppose the same problem as before, Google is pretty bloody privacy invasive, so it is not really a good idea. Plus in the shift away from Google's politically driven corporate censorship of citizens, you should be abandoning their services as much as possible ie take you pick of stories https://duckduckgo.com/?q=goog... [duckduckgo.com] where Google was caught out blatantly invading people's privacy (and yeah, duckduckgo away Google is more than good enough now). If they don't feel economic pain, they will never ref

    • The Drive app is replaced by the "backup and sync" app which does EXACTLY the same thing (plus you can sync directories other than the "Google Drive" one). It has a different icon and name, but it is basically an update, a version 2.0. The functionality is not "going away", if you install the new program is removes and replaces the old one, you don't even need to login again, everything is carried over.

      So, what's the problem?

      Google Drive is not exactly the same as Google Backup and Sync. As per the summary it may be similar, but not exactly the same at the least because Photos Uploader is also in the picture. It also suggests there are changes requiring additional "replacement" programs to be installed. I hypothesize that the icons and links may be different as well.

    • They don't have a linux port of their tools.
      • But they do have a public API, last I checked.

      • They don't have a linux port of their tools.

        rclone [rclone.org] is FOSS, works great and is also compatible with Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloudfiles, Dropbox, Amazon Drive, Backblaze, Hubic, OneDrive and Yandex Disk. Basically rsync for cloud storage.

    • by thsths ( 31372 ) on Friday September 08, 2017 @02:38AM (#55157459)

      There are two problems:

      1. Why expose all the hassle to the user, when it is really just a new version? Why not make it seamless?

      2. It says it will work very much like the current program, which unfortunately means not very well. Too many times has it told me that everything is synchronised, and for me to discover later that it has not pushed my changes to the server. Out of all the synchronisation programs I have tried, it is by far the least reliable one. It also has a nasty habit of just crashing.

      Now of course the new program might not have these problems, which would be nice. We shall see.

    • Backup and sync replacing Google Drive is probably fine for home users. It exists, and people can get on with it now.

      But I don't use the Google Drive app for personal files. I use it for my company's G Suite set up. For which they are directing people to "Drive File Stream" - an application that doesn't exist yet (there is an early access program, with a number of restrictions).

      It's decidedly premature to announce the end of the Google Drive app, when the replacement for business users isn't ready to go.

      • It is indeed an odd decision, when considering that (shock, horror!) Microsoft has a competing product, which amazingly works quite well, works on the Mac, and isn't going through some sort of poorly-thought-out-microsoft-rebranding right now.

        Google makes a mis-step so bad that Microsoft can capitalise on it? Not a good day for Google, or indeed us minions.

        • Google makes a mis-step so bad that Microsoft can capitalise on it? Not a good day for Google, or indeed us minions.

          It's par for the course for Google these days.

    • by c ( 8461 )

      So, what's the problem?

      The problem is that "being shut down" makes for a better click-bait headline than "being replaced" or "being renamed". I guess.

    • So, what's the problem?

      The problem is Slashdot still needs to complain about Google letting products or services die.

    • BACKUP and sync is - per- PC backup. How does it replace dropping a file onto drive and accessing it with separate tablets, phones and PC's?
  • Do not want (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 07, 2017 @09:03PM (#55156729)
    After today's massive Drive outage, anyone who entrusts their important information to these people (or any cloud service, really) has to be brain dead. Mission critical stuff on site. Always.
    • by dohzer ( 867770 )

      Isn't that the point? Store non-critical stuff locally (with backups off-site) and only use the cloud for less critical storage/processing?

      • by lucm ( 889690 )

        Depends what "locally" means. You should see the people who manage servers at the office, I wouldn't trust them with a tertiary backup of my collection of Lucy Liu pics.

  • Android code base would be similar to Linux. It would be great if Linux was still supported while MAC and windows not.
    • There however exist commercial ($4.99) Google Drive clients for Linux: https://www.thefanclub.co.za/o... [thefanclub.co.za]
  • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Thursday September 07, 2017 @09:16PM (#55156771) Homepage

    The Google Drive desktop application is utter garbage for collaborative work. Mis-synced files, missing files, mis-versioned files, corrupted files--it was utterly worthless for anything beyond light personal use.

    Here's hoping its replacement actually works.

    • This just in: remote filesystems are not as good as distributed revisions control systems at being a distributed revision control systems. Film at 11.
      • This just in: remote filesystems are not as good as distributed revisions control systems at being a distributed revision control systems. Film at 11.

        Google used to offer revision control under the name Google Code. It no longer does. So which service do you recommend for hosting a private distributed revision control repository? Is $108 per year (source [github.com]) a good deal?

        And how well do popular distributed revision control systems handle things other than the relatively small, diff-friendly plain text files that make up computer program source code? Examples include design documents made with LibreOffice or large graphics files made with GIMP.

        • Google used to offer revision control under the name Google Code. It no longer does. So which service do you recommend for hosting a private distributed revision control repository? Is $108 per year (source [github.com]) a good deal?

          Private paid Github works nicely if you aren't concerned about using someone else's machines. It's not very expensive and it works alright. I keep my local git repos in a Google drive for enhanced irony.

    • Agreed, was using it for some code I was messing around with and the fucking thing kept changing the extensions, probably because it was trying to keep me "safe" from my own fucking code. Which considering some of the stuff I've written is not always a bad thing, but it was bloody annoying.
  • They combine all of that together because Google is hoping you forget to turn off your photo sync settings. Let the biometrics flow....
    • by thsths ( 31372 )

      Of course it should not be turned on by default, but somehow I have a feeling that it will be.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have never seen a company so successful at building amazing products with so many smart people working there manage to completely destroy its traction in markets. Messaging, social networking - its like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Complete failures of leadership.

    I work at Amazon. Our engineering teams are good, but clearly not quite at the level of Google. But we ship products that do what customers want and we make money in markets. We don't play silly fricking games with "beta" for two years

    • by thsths ( 31372 )

      I completely agree. Google products can be amazing, they can do exactly what you want. But that is pure luck, and even if it is great, you cannot rely on Google keeping it around. To many times they have pulled the plug on one of the features I used.

  • by WolfgangVL ( 3494585 ) on Friday September 08, 2017 @12:32AM (#55157251)

    The internet is one big giant data-leak, and you can't clean up the mess.

    What a horrible place to store anything valuable/confidential.

  • windows explorer? The one that is basically seamless and works as a file server?
    I quite like that, to save my work files on the Google Drive folder and don't worry about backups.

  • Only a couple of hundred machines to upgrade remotely over the internet, many of them on internet connections that are barely better than dial up. Thanks Google.
    • The problems with your infrastructure aren't google's fault...

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      If you have hundreds of users on ISDN or EDGE Internet, how do they use Google Drive in the first place without being frustrated by loading bars?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    That's a rather strange comment when you look at Google's reputation for closing services whenever they feel like it. Google Drive the service and all their other services are likely to go anywhere. If you want a stable service, don't use Google.

  • So do we finally get symbolic links now? Or is this "Backup and Sync" uncomplete garbage app like always from Google?

  • "PC" (Score:1, Informative)

    by xororand ( 860319 )

    Please don't use the abbreviation "PC" with the implication that the computer is running Microsoft Windows. If you install GNU/Linux on the same computer, it is still a PC.

    The term “WC” has been suggested for a computer running Windows.

    https://www.gnu.org/philosophy... [gnu.org]

    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      W.C. = cute. At first it struck me as hilariously appropriate. But then I realized. A W.C. (toilet) actually does perform a useful function.

    • by ledow ( 319597 )

      You lost that battle in the 90's.

      Same way the "GNU/Linux" stuff was always dead in the water too.

      Rather than fight against it fruitlessly, just accept it and move on. PC is an architecture and even "Macs" are really just "PCs" now (as is XBox and so on). But that distinction doesn't hold anywhere outside an IT office.

      Rather than try to revive antiquated terms (which people killed off when they stopped saying "IBM-compatible), just use the full product name itself if you want to distinguish. A Windows PC

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Same way the "GNU/Linux" stuff was always dead in the water too.

        What's a better term to distinguish GNU/Linux, which uses Linux as its kernel, from Android, which also uses Linux as its kernel?

        PC is an architecture and even "Macs" are really just "PCs" now (as is XBox and so on).

        Macs are personal computers because the person who owns it directs what computing is done on it. This has been the case as long as Xcode has been available. An unmodded retail Xbox, by contrast, is not a personal computer because Microsoft uses code signing to control what code is allowed to run. The same is true of a Windows RT or Windows 10 S device.

        • That's fascinating. Now perhaps you could explain to us all how the common usage of the term "hacker" is incorrect, and that the proper term is "cracker"?

          Please?

          Pretty Please?

  • Right now I can download a file off the web and drop it onto my 'drive'. I can now get to this file from all my pc's, tablets, and phone. Backup and sync seems to be just for one machine and separates the machines. So I think we have lost the sharing functionality Any thoughts?

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