Google is turning Drive into a much more robust backup tool. Soon, instead of files having to live inside of the Drive folder, Google will be able to monitor and backup files inside of any folder you point it to. That can include your desktop, your entire documents folder, or other more specific locations.
The backup feature will come out later this month, on June 28th, in the form of a new app called backup and sync. It sounds like the Backup and Sync app will replace both the standard Google Drive app and the Google Photos Backup app, at least in some cases. Google is recommending that regular consumers download the new app once it’s out, but it says that business users should stick with the existing Drive app for now.
It’s not clear exactly how much you’ll be able to do with the expanded backup feature. You’ll presumably be able to open and edit some common file types within Drive, as you’ve already been able to. But it’s not clear if you’ll be able to sync those files back down to multiple other computers, using Drive as an intermediary.
All of those files will very likely count toward your Google Drive storage limit, too. This will be a very quick way of hitting that 15GB cap on free accounts.
Still, it’s a smart move by Google and a pretty handy feature. There have been requests for Dropbox to add something like this for ages, and it’s yet to get around to it. Instead, like Drive, people have always had to store files directly in the app’s local folder. For anyone looking for a bit more flexibility in their syncing apps, Google seems like it’s about to become the winning option.