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Back to August 2012 Newsletter

Do I Need to Upgrade to Google Drive?

by Nikki Reynolds

You may notice messages in your Google Docs webpage encouraging you to "upgrade" to Google Drive. If you follow these messages, you may also notice a link that says "Download Google Drive." What's this all about?

The Google Drive "upgrade" is really just a new look and feel for the Google Docs environment we've been using all along. If you go ahead and upgrade, you'll see an updated interface that is more consistent with the current Google Mail and Calendar web interfaces. The word "Docs" will be replaced by "Drive" everywhere in the web interface. You can upgrade your interface at any time that is convenient for you.

"Download Google Drive" means something quite different, however. This link will walk you through the steps of installing a Google Drive "synchronization" app. This app will reside on your desktop, and will share any files you put there with your Google Drive web storage space, and every other device on which you have the synchronization app installed. Cautions:

  • The synchronization happens "behind the scenes," without asking you.
  • Without careful management, you could share confidential material to a device that is used by other people who are not authorized to see it.
  • ITS is not recommending or supporting the use of this application at this time, due to the information security concerns it raises.
  • ITS will be sending more information regarding the Drive sync apps in the future.

In summary:

  • "Upgrade" or "Update" to Google Drive means change the look and feel of Google Docs;
  • "Download Google Drive" means install the Google Docs/Drive synchronization app;
  • Beware of what you share if you use this.