Amazon takes on Dropbox with Cloud Drive app


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Amazon's Cloud Drive app made its debut on iOS.
Photo: George Tinari/Cult of Mac

Amazon is getting more serious about taking a piece of the cloud storage action. Over the holiday weekend, the company released its Amazon Cloud Drive app for iOS, letting you finally access your files in Amazon’s cloud from your iPhone or iPad.

The app competes with the likes of Dropbox by enabling you to view your files anywhere, but falls short in a number of key areas.

As reported by TechCrunch, the app is read-only. That means you can’t add any files from your iOS device and expect them to sync through the cloud and onto your other devices. You can’t edit any of the files you’re already storing either – just view, enjoy and leave alone.

What you can do however is share the files, either as a public link through a message or an email attachment. You can also copy the link to share just about anywhere else on your own.

Dropbox might be sounding better and better right now, but for what Amazon lacks in features it makes up for in price. Amazon Cloud Drive offers two price plans. For $59.99 per year, you can store all of your files – it’s completely unlimited. Otherwise, you can opt for just unlimited photo storage plus 5GB of storage for everything else at just $11.99 per year. The latter is free if you’re an Amazon Prime member. Compared to Dropbox Pro ($99 per year for 1TB of storage,) Amazon Cloud Drive is a steal. Both plans come with a three-month free trial, too.

Amazon already has Cloud Drive apps for the Mac and PC, plus released the Android app toward the end of June. It’s clearly been slow with mobile, but even worse, there’s still no automatic sync on any device including your computer. Unlike Dropbox which syncs everything within that folder the moment you add it, Cloud Drive requires that you go old-school and upload your files manually.

It looks like Amazon is only starting to play catch-up. Still, if sync isn’t of any concern to you, it’s hard to find a better price for cloud storage. Grab the Cloud Drive app free for iOS.