Wednesday, June 17, 2015

In praise of ClouldPull -- bring your Google Drive files to your Mac's local storage

There are a lot of spreadsheet and documents on my Mac, representing years of work, that have contents that look like this:

{"url": "”, “doc_id”: “17c7....VloXI”, “email”: “”, “resource_id": "document:17c7Z...unVloXI"}

Yes, they’re stubs referencing data stored in Google’s cloud as “Google Docs” and “Google Sheets”. That’s what Google puts on Google Drive on my Mac, and why so much data takes up so little storage. (Beware, however, of Google Drive/Photos integration. That’s bad news.)

It means that I don’t really have ownership of any of those files. I can use Google Drive to “reorganize” my Cloud drive, but I generally can’t work with that data offline [1].

Which is one of the reasons I like CloudPull - a $25 Mac app that still runs on Mavericks [2]. It creates local backups of my Calendars (VCALENDAR), Contacts (VCARD 3.0), and my Google Drive. I can ask for a complete backup, or I can only create backups for Google doc (as Microsoft Word, dock) or Google sheets (as Excel, .xlsx) and let Google Drive handle all the readable files.

It even holds 1,500 Google Reader liked articles left over from the end of Reader.

The data is stored in my User Library Application Support folder, but I really should move it back into my Docs folder.

Most of the time I can ignore all of this content, but it’s a great reassurance to have it at hand. Every Mac user of Google Services should own CloudPull.

[1] So when I drag something out of the drive, and it’s “deleted”, what happens if I open the stub file? What does Google do to enable offline use, and how scary is that? Curious stuff.

[2] I’m going to Yosemite with 10.10.4. Too many apps need Yosemite now, and as good as El Cap sounds it won’t be ready for me before Feb 2016.

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