The rise of Snapdragon-based Windows laptops has brought a wave of excitement, but for Google Drive users, it’s also brought a wave of frustration.

The increasing popularity of Windows ARM-based PCs has highlighted a significant issue for users: the lack of a native Google Drive application. As more Snapdragon-based Windows laptops hit the market, users are finding that Google Drive, a vital tool for many professionals and students, is not natively supported on these devices. This gap has led to frustration and a growing demand for Google to develop an ARM-compatible version of Google Drive for Desktop.

Historically, Google Drive for Desktop, previously known as Backup and Sync, has been available for Windows and macOS users. However, a native ARM version for Windows has not been released. Back in 2021, a Google Workspace staff member stated that there were no plans to support Drive for Desktop on Windows ARM due to “relatively low adoption.” At that time, ARM-based PCs were not as prevalent, and the demand for such support was minimal.

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Fast forward to today, and the landscape has changed significantly. Devices like the Surface Pro and various laptops featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors are becoming more common. However, users who purchase these devices often find themselves unable to use Google Drive natively, forcing them to rely on the web version, which lacks the robust features and seamless integration of the desktop app.

Many users have expressed their frustration, citing disruptions to their workflow and the necessity to seek alternatives. Some have migrated to Microsoft OneDrive, which offers native ARM support and is bundled with Office 365 subscriptions, making it a cost-effective solution. Others have tried workarounds like third-party applications or emulation, but these solutions are often clunky and unsatisfactory.

The comparison to Apple’s transition to ARM-based Macs is particularly striking. When Apple announced its shift to ARM architecture, it gave developers ample time to prepare, ensuring that major applications were compatible from the outset. Not to say Apple’s transition was perfect. In fact, early adopters of ARM-based Macs did face some initial hurdles, but the support from software developers, including Google Drive, was relatively swift.

In contrast, Google’s reluctance to support Windows ARM machines seems rooted in more than just technical challenges. Google’s resistance may also stem from its competitive stance against Microsoft. This theory gains traction considering Google’s history of slow or reluctant support for Microsoft platforms. Some speculate that Google might be hesitant to invest in a platform that could potentially compete with their own Chromebooks.

Google-Drive-not-supported-on-ARM-Windows

Despite the increasing clamor for an ARM-compatible version of Google Drive, Google has reportedly reiterated that there are no current plans to develop such an application for Windows users. This stance leaves a significant portion of their user base in a lurch, particularly business users who rely heavily on Google Workspace.

The lack of a native Google Drive app is a major sticking point for early adopters of ARM-based Windows PCs. Users have flocked to online forums to voice their disappointment, with some even considering returning their new laptops or switching to Microsoft’s OneDrive and other third-party solutions. But these solutions are far from ideal. The demand for a native Google Drive app on Windows ARM is clear and growing louder.

With the increasing popularity of Windows ARM devices and the recent push for native ARM support in Chrome, Google might be forced to reconsider their stance. The pressure from users is mounting, and the lack of a native app could push more users towards competing services like OneDrive.

As the Windows ARM ecosystem continues to grow, the ball is in Google’s court. Will they respond to the growing demand and provide a native Drive app, or will they risk losing users to competitors? Only time will tell, but I do have a strong feeling that they’ll cave in eventually.

Himanshu Arora
256 Posts

I have been writing tech-focused articles since 2010. In my around 15 years of experience so far, I have written for many leading publications, including Computerworld, GSMArena, TechSpot, HowtoForge, LinuxJournal, and MakeTechEasier to name a few. I also co-founded PiunikaWeb, which went on to become a huge success within 5 years of its inception. Here at TechIssuesToday, I aim to offer you helpful information in a way that you won't find anywhere else easily.

Comments

Lance09-07-2024

This is a bunch of nonsense from Google. I am giving up Google workspace and switching to Microsoft. So much for 'dont be evil'.

Max04-07-2024

I also moved most of my data to OneDrive and Dropbox (both native Arm) versions. There is one workaround in using RaiDrive, it lets you integrate and mount Google Drive and Google Workspace. This might be a solution until Google releases an ARM version.

George29-06-2024

i share that frustration and am actively moveing all my data from google drive

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