/07/12
11:15 PDT.

It’s been a few months since Google declared the impending death of the Backup and Sync client for Drive, a move generally regarded by users everywhere as “a relief.” At the time, a new app was announced, combining the best of desktop and enterprise-level desktop services into one platform. The first signs of the fresh service are starting to come, but not everyone can access it yet.

A new version of Google Drive for the desktop – the Workspace app developed at the same time as Backup and Sync – is slowly taking off today, and it seems that this may be the first step in reinventing the app for both businesses and personal users. As discovered by 9to5Google, Drive for desktop version 49 provides a number of new features, including Google Photos backups, support for multiple accounts, and the ability to stream or mirror files and folders from Drive to your computer.

If these options sound familiar, it’s because they were all promised in February to come to Drive for Desktop this year. From now on, you still need a Workspace account to use the app on your PC, so clearly that it’s not just ready for full public access. Google has not updated its update notes for the service, so we’ll have to wait for the official word on all the changes made in this release.

While this is a step in the right direction, a full launch may not be around the corner. Google guaranteed a three-month start for Workspace administrators and end users before the transition deadline – a warning that has not yet been issued – along with a public announcement when the app is ready for personal accounts. In other words, we can wait a while for Backup and Sync to disappear for good.

Public announcement

Not too long a wait, we guess.

In a post on the company’s blog, Google has announced that Backup and Sync users will begin seeing full-screen requests to move to Workspace-style Drive for desktop client starting in the coming weeks. From September, users will be effectively redirected to the new client if they wish to continue synchronization.

For corporate accounts that use Backup and Sync, the timeline is more specific. On July 19, users will have access to a transition guide for the new client. From 18 August, alerts will be displayed for those who have not changed. Backup and sync will then no longer be available from October 1st.