Amazon Cloud Drive at a Glance
3 / 5 stars
- 3 Month Free Trial.
- Unlimited Photos – $11.99/year.
- Unlimited Everything – $59.99/year.
- Unlimited storage.
- It is Amazon, the same company that some cloud storage services are using for their infrastructure.
- Price is great for unlimited storage.
- Web application is easy to use to manage files.
- 3 month trial.
- Unlimited plans limited to US only.
- Desktop application lacks features.
- Mobile apps lack features for managing more than photos.
- No music streaming via web.
- Limited video streaming via web.
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Full Amazon Cloud Drive Review
When people think of cloud storage there are a few names that come to mind, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and of course Amazon. Amazon, for the most part has stayed away from the consumer cloud storage market but that all changed at the end of March 2015 when they announced their unlimited cloud drive. It would appear that Amazon is no longer content with letting other companies gain and keep the consumer cloud storage market while they provide the behind the scenes infrastructure for some of those services with Amazon S3. Now Amazon is looking at providing not only the infrastructure for cloud storage but also becoming the consumers choice for easy access to that infrastructure as well.
The web based app for Amazon Cloud Drive is pretty well done, it is not perfect, but it is not the worst web file based application I have seen either. You can easily upload, download and manage your files in your cloud drive using the web app. You can also share files using the web app, but I was not able to share a folder, only individual files. This makes it considerably harder to share all of your latest photos and videos of the kids if you have to share each individual file and not a folder.
Another feature that seems to be missing is the ability to play music files directly in your browser from your cloud drive. You can upload music files but there is no way to play them online. Videos also present a problem playing online. Shorter videos uploaded from my phone using the Android app had no problem streaming but a copy of the Abbott and Costello movie Africa Screams I downloaded from Archive.org would not play at all. There is a limit on the length of video files Amazon is allowing to stream.
As mentioned in the first impressions post, the current desktop application is unsatisfactory. It is nothing more than desktop upload tool to help you upload files and folders to Cloud Drive. It lacks any kind of features like sync, downloading or management. In short it exists to help you upload large files and that is all.
If you can find a copy of the older Amazon Sync application you will probably have a better experience of the new Unlimited Cloud Drive than the new desktop application gives you. In fact I would say that this is perhaps the largest single problem with the new Amazon Cloud Drive. Sure they give you unlimited storage but uploading, downloading and syncing your data to your computer using the desktop app is next to impossible. If Amazon truly wants to win users over from other services they need to take a hard look at this useless tool they call a desktop application. What cloud drive really needs is a desktop application like ExpanDrive or other desktop clients like Google Drive has that gives users that ability to manage their cloud drive more fully.
The Amazon Cloud Drive mobile app fairs better than the desktop app, but it is still currently branded as the Cloud Drive photo app. It offers more features like the ability to automatically upload photos and videos from you mobile device and you can browse your uploaded photos and video, but you cannot see of access any other file types. Perhaps this is still coming in a future release but again if Amazon is serious about competing with the other cloud storage services out there they need to improve the mobile app and quick.
Amazon Cloud Drive is actually pretty disappointing compared to some of the more mature cloud storage services available. The one huge advantage Amazon offers is the unlimited storage at a very decent price but the whole offer is hobbled by the lack of any decent desktop client and an only satisfactory mobile app. If Amazon is thinking users will jump ship from other services because of the temptation of unlimited storage they are in for a rude awakening when users don’t come pouring in. While I am a huge fan of unlimited storage options at decent prices if there is no decent desktop or mobile applications to upload, download and manage your data then the service is nothing more than a cheap advertising gimmick, which is what this offer from Amazon sadly looks like.