Insync 1.4 Transforms Google Drive into a Desktop App
Few will remember this, but Insync started as a Dropbox competitor back in 2008 (complete with our own servers) until we shifted our focus to developing a desktop syncing client for Google Docs. That was before Google Drive was even a thing.
Through the years we’ve refined Insync to be the Google Drive client you see today, but our goals have always been bigger; beyond just syncing files between desktop and cloud.
With Insync 1.4, released today, we’ve taken concrete steps towards our vision of reinventing the file manager.
Why reinvent the file manager?
The file manager is a desktop app everyone uses, yet it hasn’t evolved to satisfy today’s needs. Just look at the Explorer on Windows 95 vs. Windows 10: very little has changed to adapt to the growing sources of data and how we “consume” and manage it.
Windows 95 File Explorer (Screenshot from: “Windows 10 File Explorer changes” by Timothy Warner)
Windows 10 File Explorer.
And just like the file manager, the typical sync client remains largely the same even though data have grown exponentially: it works with one cloud service in the background and needs both a file manager and a web app to access and manage the data.
Lack of development in the file manager and the sync client has caused us to begin using different tools to manage different data from different sources -- on cloud, mobile, desktop & peripherals -- creating clutter + wasting time and money.
We want to bridge that gap and unify the data and apps with a syncing engine and one “universal interface” (i.e. a modern file manager).
Insync 1.4: Bridging desktop & Google Drive
With Insync 1.3, our focus was to provide powerful syncing features that allowed users to access their cloud files via the default file manager.
In Insync 1.4, we take it one step further with a new interface that works like a mini file manager -- allowing users to browse, open and manage Google Drive files with just a few clicks, with no need for another browser tab.
In short, meet the beginnings of the modern file manager.
🖱️ The Double-Click, now on Insync
Ah, the good ‘ol double-click. Feels like home. This opens files right away with a local app, no other setup needed
- Double-click to expand folders and view what’s inside
- Double-click to sync a file on-demand (a new feature called Now@):
🖱️ The Right-Click too, of course
On desktop file managers, it brings up a context menu with a slew of options. Same with 1.4 (you’ll find new Insync features here):
🖼️ Space Bar for Previews
A macOS feature (and some Linux distros). We like it, so we put it in 1.4 for Windows, macOS and Linux users:
📁 File manager integration
Of course, if you still want to use your default file managers, we got you covered. This feature is universal and works on any operating system.
💻 Open With Native Apps
Your synced files will work with the apps you have installed on your computer.
You can also use our context menu to select which app you want to open a synced file with, just like your desktop!
💪🏽 More Syncing Superpowers
The new interface is nice, but we’ve also added advanced syncing options in the background that give you more control over how you sync your files:
Now@: sync and open cloud files on-demand with a double click (save your local space)
Sync@: sync top-level Google Drive folders to anywhere on your computer
Merge@: merge the contents of your cloud folder with a local folder, then keep it synced
Team Drives syncing
Insync 1.4 also brings Team Drives syncing to your desktop! You’ll notice that we placed a special tab just for that in our new UI.
The feature is recommended for teams using Team Drives (a fairly new G Suite feature) to collaborate.
Team Drive syncing will be available for Pro, Business and Teams-licensed accounts. Speaking of...
A new “Teams” license
Along with the 1.4 update, we’re introducing a new license, called Teams, for any Google Accounts accounts that want to sync their Team Drives. We now have 2 licenses to choose from depending on your needs:
- Prime license (Windows/macOS/Linux + unlimited computer installs + free core app updates + awesome support) at $29.99 per Google account
- Teams license (all the Prime goodies + Team Drives sync) at $49.99 per Google account
Our one-time payment Teams license officially replaces our Pro and Business subscription plans which were deprecated on December 20, 2016.
To be clear: All users will get the 1.4 update. But if you’d like to sync your Team Drives…
- Prime users can upgrade to Teams by paying the $20 difference
- Plus users can upgrade to Teams at $34.99 (30% off)
Not sure what license you have? Click here.
Pro and Business license users
Pro and Business already have access to Team Drives with no additional cost. However, you can purchase (and switch to) the one-time priced Teams license at $34.99 (30% off and no more recurring payments!)
1.4 rollout & trying Teams
Insync 1.4 is now available on our website. You can use it to update to 1.4 manually. We will be phasing out 1.3 via the 1.4 auto-update rolling out this month so make sure to read about the changes.
We’ve created a guide to help you navigate your way through the 1.3 → 1.4 UI changes.
A small change to the 15-day free Insync trial
New accounts (starting a 15-day free trial) will automatically get a Teams trial to be able test out the whole 1.4 suite, including Team Drives syncing.
Prime users can start a 15-day Teams trial from their dashboard.
What’s next for Insync?
We’ve heard your comments and suggestions on how to improve Insync like bandwidth controls, increasing sync speed (we have done a bit of this in 1.4 already) and many others. We want you to know...we’re working on them.
In addition, we are also planning on expanding support to other cloud service and bettering our file management interface + integration with your OS and data stores. We’re also eyeing secure backup, file encryption, PDF signatures and other neat features 💗
We hope you enjoy Insync 1.4 as much as we have enjoyed building it. As always, Insync is cross-platform and works on Windows, macOS and Linux ✋