Amazon’s Cloud Drive Photos app debuted in May, giving iDevice owners an easy way to browse image files stored in their Amazon cloud storage.
Among other features, the iPhone/iPad application allows for downloading of individual images straight to your iDevice. You can also batch-upload your on-device snaps up to the cloud, useful if you want to keep your photos securely backed up in the cloud (and trust Amazon with your data – okay, that was a joke).
Unfortunately, the app doesn’t support background network activity, and that’s a shame as quiting it or even receiving a phone call stops any upload in progress. Amazon finally saw to that, having updated Cloud Drive Photos with support for Background Save feature, along with other improvements…
According to changelog, version 1.3.59 lets you:
• Use Background Save to upload photos when Cloud Drive isn’t running
• Manually select albums to save to Cloud Drive or download to your device
• Simplified WiFi and Cellular Auto-Save options in Settings
Just like public Photo Streams in iOS 6, photos uploaded to the Amazon cloud can be enjoyed online in any web browser.
The new Background Save function taps an iOS 6 API that allows apps to upload data in the background. Apple limited the API to a few minutes worth of background network activity (except for streaming music, which is handled by a different set of APIs) in order to preserve your battery.
At WWDC, Apple tackled this issue with a set of new APIs that improve how third-party apps multitask on iOS 7. Developers who choose to implement these can now count on longer background activity for network-related tasks.
Most interestingly, apps can now tell the operating system about which content should be kept up to date, with iOS 7 taking care of smart scheduling.
“Because iOS 7 learns when you like to use your apps and can update your content before you launch them,” Apple’s iOS 7 Features page explains. “So if you tend to check your favorite social app at 9:00 a.m. every day, your feed will be ready and waiting for you.”
Apple further explains:
Keep the content of your app up-to-date by adopting the new multitasking APIs in iOS 7. The new services allow your app to update information and download content in the background without draining the battery unnecessarily.
The updates can happen at opportunistic times and are intelligently scheduled according to usage, so your app can update content in the background just when your users need it.
This is going to appease to developers of social apps like Twitter clients, who complained about iOS 6 not letting them update users’ feeds in the background.
Amazon also has the Cloud Player app designed for on-demand streaming of music kept in your Amazon locker up in the sky.