Online retail giant Amazon on Monday launched a brand new application in the App Store to give iPhone and iPad owners a quick way to access their documents, spreadsheets, music, photos and videos stored in Cloud Drive, Amazon’s storage locker in the cloud.
The new app, called Amazon Cloud Drive, is available at no charge in the App Store. For the uninitiated, Amazon’s Cloud Drive service offers you a choice between unlimited storage for your photos in exchange for twelve bucks per year, or $60 per year for an Unlimited Everything plan.
A free 90-day trial of Cloud Drive is available here.
“Amazon Cloud Drive is your place for everything digital,” explains Amazon.
“Cloud Drive offers mobile apps and secure access from any computer so you can access your digital content everywhere you are.” Editing functionality is not supported and neither is the ability to upload content from mobile, change the file’s attributes or move it to a different folder.
The Cloud Drive service is also built into Amazon’s Fire Phone.
With this app, you can easily browse your cloud-based files and folders, preview documents, spreadsheets, presentations and photos, stream videos and your music stored on Cloud Drive and more.
Like Dropbox, files and folders can be shared using private links.
Files can be shared as email attachments, sent via Messages, copied to the clipboard for sharing on social media or sent to other apps using the “Open In” option in the Share sheet.
Everything worked as advertised in my brief hands-on time with the app.
I was able to preview my cloud-based photos on Cloud Drive, play some songs and download PowerPoint presentations. Sharing a file with other apps, attaching it to an email or sending the link via Messages worked without a hiccup, too.
My only complaint is the native iPad interface which feels anything but native.
In reality, it’s a a blown up iPhone interface which was obviously hastily put together. The result is an interface that looks awkward and feels clumsy, with so much unused space that could have been taken better advantage of.
It’s interesting that Amazon’s standalone app for accessing your cloud music and photos are still available in the App Store. I would say that the new app is great for accessing your cloud files quickly and conveniently within the context of a single app.
A desktop Cloud Drive client for Mac and Windows PCs can be downloaded here.
The 10.2-megabyte app requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 8.1 or later. It’s optimized for the iPhone 5/5s/5c, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screen resolutions and currently lacks an Apple Watch component.