by Zachariah Summers, staff writer
Much to the dismay of many, Google Drive and Photo Uploader will no longer be accessible by desktop applications starting this upcoming March. The news was first given to the general public on September 6th of this year, and it will be a shift of action for many companies and businesses.
However, the services themselves are not being discontinued; Only the applications and desktop easy-access of the items linked to Drive are. The services will not continue active support for operating systems starting this coming December, in which an expected transition period toward a new program is expected to occur.
The services themselves will remain under a new program — Backup and Sync. This new application is currently available to download for anyone who wants to make the shift early, but users still have an extended four-month period in which they can utilize the existing program to its full capacity.
Many students are startled by this sudden shift. Andrew Hinton, a junior at Atholton High School, has strong views on the subject. Andrew does simple work with Google Drive. He records audio and documents videos for his personal YouTube channel. “I’d never really considered the fact that Google Drive would just shift away from my computer, eventually,” he stated. “I just assumed that it’d be one of those things that I could keep on my computer and come back to whenever I needed it.”
When asked about how it would affect him and his work, he said, “My work — well, not really work, but content creation remains sound, and I intend for it to stay that way. I’ll do the transfer, but as far as I can tell, it shouldn’t really affect me as much as it would someone that relies heavily on it.”
In addition, he believes that “If it’s going to be a total discontinuation of an entire series of applications, those who are capable should assist others in making the required switch.”
Communication serves as a key part of Google Drive’s appeal, and some students need that communicative quality in order to do well in their daily activities. A lack of communication creates a significant strain on an individual, and stress is no new matter of concern to River Hill’s own Philip Matthew, a student who actively engages in high-level classes while attempting to balance social and personal interests.
He has always believed that Google Drive has been an, “extremely underrated convenience,” and has always used it to its full potential. “While I may do homework assignments on Google Drive, I also use it to store audio and video from my personal life. I have a lot of photos that are close to my heart, and some embarrassing videos that I want to take to the grave with me.”
Philip is all for the switch over to the centralized platform, saying that, “it was annoying enough to navigate through several applications just to find what I wanted. With this, it seems as though the minor annoyance now has a major change. It seems as though, however, it could get very complicated for others who rely heavily on the desktop variant of the applications.”
Rachael Schultz who teaches Advanced Composition and English teacher at River Hill relies heavily on the Google Drive desktop applications. She’s working to make an active effort to shift over into the newer format of Google Drive instead of the no-longer unsupported Turnitin.com.
When asked how it would affect her teachings, she replied, “Considering I didn’t know about this, it’s going to have a significant effect, as one of the things I did purposefully this year was to try and incorporate more technology, such as using Google Drive.”
She believes “It’s a great idea, but the problem is that not everyone in the county is going to have access to a supported device.” In order to switch over to the new format, she claims, “I’ll probably spend a portion of my Winter Break making the transfer.”
Google made this decision in order to integrate the several programs into a single application, something that the company has wanted to do since as early as June of this year. Supposedly, this shift will enable a faster and stronger syncing to online files in a unified setting, and companies should see an improvement in the quality of their Google-based product synchronization.
That being said, HCPSS Drive users should remain largely unaffected by the desktop application switch, due to the main usage of the Google Suite service, but they should see an improvement in synchronization.