“Drive for desktop” is Google’s unified cloud backup application for consumer and business users after years of maintaining two separate clients. Google Drive for desktop has now been updated with full support for Mac laptops and desktops with Apple’s M1 chip.

At the start of this year, the previous consumer app (Backup and Sync) picked up “improved Apple M1 support.” Meanwhile, the enterprise-focused Drive File Stream – what was updated to become Drive for desktop – gained “open beta” support for M1 hardware in February. A May update brought improvements, though it was still classified as a “beta.” 

As of October 14, version 52.0 of Google Drive for desktop features “Full Apple silicon (M1) Mac support.” 

Implemented full support for Apple silicon (M1) Mac computers.

For Mac users, the new unified client features better support for the Photo Library on Apple computers, including media that is synced with iCloud, as part of Google Photos upload. Google originally imposed a September deadline for free account users to upgrade.

This latest Drive update, which is now widely available for Mac and Windows, also addresses:

  • Improved accessibility of folders and files created offline.
  • Added support for some cameras to back up to Drive for desktop.
  • Added ability to manage and purchase additional cloud storage from within Drive for desktop.
  • Improved sync performance when connecting to a network after working offline.
  • Improved progress messaging when uploading files to Drive for desktop from a USB device.
  • Added ability to call SIP phones via Meet plug-in.

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