Color me an old fashioned gal, but I like app names that are descriptive. Apple has a few. Mail. Calendar. Contacts. Messages. Photos. Notes. Reminders. Even Pages, Numbers, and Keynote are decently named.
Safari? Uh, not so much. iCloud Drive? You have to think about what it does. I like Dropbox, but it falls into the same category as Google Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive. The latest back and sync application that has some promise is from Google.
Sync? Or, Backup?
There may be a nuanced difference between a backup and a sync, but regardless of your needs, Google’s new Backup and Sync app does just that. It can backup your Mac’s files and keep them in sync between devices so they’re available– much like iCloud Drive– on Mac, iPhone, and iPad (and Windows PCs, if you’re of that persuasion).
Backup and Sync works a bit like iCloud Drive’s backup. Right at the top is the option to backup the Mac’s Desktop and Documents folders. Photos is a separate option.
What you get is what you expect. An automatic backup of everything important. Photos, Documents, Desktop folder. What’s missing is Pictures and Music, but that’s a separate issue for another time– partly because the extra storage could get expensive.
Speaking of storage and expense, iCloud comes with 5GB free. 200GB is $2.99 per month. 2TB is $9.99. Compare that to Backup and Sync using your Google account. 15GB is free. 100GB is $1.99 per month. 1TB is $9.99. And 10TB is $99.99 per month.
No Apples to apples there.
Still, Google’s Backup and Sync app couldn’t be much easier to use on the Mac.
I don’t want to get into that whole ‘backup’ is a noun and ‘back up’ is the verb, but you get the idea. Files get backed up to Google’s cloud and files are available on other devices. So, it all works much like iCloud Drive, but with a Menubar option to view what’s going on at the time.
Just click the icon to see current status. But within Backup and Sync you can right-click to open specific files in their appropriate applications.
Easy peasy, right? And, not bad for free, either. Up to 15GB.
Someone at Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Dropbox, and elsewhere have determined that the future of saving and storing files will not be local, despite falling prices of attached storage devices like SSDs on our Macs.
The cloud is the future. At least, the future of backup and sync. I’m glad we have choices and competitive prices. And Google wins this one with the most descriptive name.