When Google once suffered a major outage and temporarily lost customer files, I, like others, saw the signs of a storm coming. Cloud Pull for Mac OS X (10.9 or later) helps you weather the storm and keep your cloud-based information backed up. It is a simple program that is simply indispensable.
Cloud Pull by Golden Hills Software is available directly from the developer. It supports Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Calendar, and Google Drive (formerly Docs). Cloud Pull like Time Machine for Google. By default, the app backs up your accounts every hour and maintains old point-in-time snapshots of your accounts for 90 days.
Not only does it back-up the current version, but it also backs up any revisions. The folder structure is identical to that within your Google account, respecting which items appear in home and which are hidden.
Once downloaded to your Mac, you can then restore them directly from the off-line database Cloud Pull utilizes. This was great for when I was working offline on a plane. I had my entire Google document collection available to me. Because Google Pull supports multiple accounts, you can have your browser open to one account, while still reviewing documents in another account.
Cloud Pull even supports QuickView, so you can easily find the document you need. If you work offline with your documents, the program can’t put the document back into Google, however. You’ll have to upload the file to Google manually or copy and paste your changes. This isn’t the end of the world, but something to consider when you restore a document via Cloud Pull.
The user interface is straightforward and includes a menu icon that uses green indicators to show your accounts are safely backed up and uses a red indicator and exclamation point to warn you of problems. Usually it’s a temporary glitch, but I appreciate the early warning system and how similar it is to Apple’s Time Machine.
At US$24.99, the program is a bit pricey, and, of course, you can manually download your Google documents to back them up, but Cloud Pull makes it automatic so you are much less likely to lose data. While Cloud Pull doesn't back up your Gmail, this can easily be done via a third party email client and contact synchronization is built into Address Book.
Cloud Pull fills a gap for those of us wanting easy back-ups of the "office style" documents we create on the web. If you use Google Documents for serious work, then you owe it to yourself to get this program. Twenty-five bucks s a small price to pay for piece of mind for when the cloud leads you astray.