In recent months Amazon has done a lot of tweaking to its services as Google and Microsoft attempt to push it off the top spot as storage provider. This week, it has tweaked a little bit more, this time by adding file sync to its Cloud Drive.
Amazon’s Cloud Drive
There is clearly a lot of interest around file syncing, especially around cloud storage, but Cloud Drive was never really meant to sync files the way people are doing now through the likes of Dropbox, or Box.
Amazon’s Cloud Drive was originally for those who had bought music on Amazon and wanted to store it. It was never really considered as a possible way of sharing, or storing information.
Clearly, though, with the kind of pressure it is under in the cloud storage space it had to add some enticements. Not least of those enticements were price slashing -- always a popular move -- but functionality also needed to be improved.
Cloud Drive e Syncing
The result is this week’s new Cloud Drive app that comes in both Windows and Mac flavors and enables users to access and store files in the Amazon Cloud, which will automatically be synced from a desktop.
When the app is downloaded onto a computer other than the users principal computer, the users will be able to access the exact same files, updates included. The desktop application supports all Windows versions from XP to Windows 8, and in Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7, and 10.8.
For the moment it only works for desktops and there is no mention from Amazon of any plans to make it mobile, which doesn’t really make sense in the current business environment, especially if Amazon is attempting to sell it into the business community.
This is particularly true when you consider that all the other major competitors have mobile and tablet support, including Google Drive, Box, Dropbox and even SkyDrive, although with Skydrive there is a different kind of drawback, notably its current inability to sync files that others have shared with you.
Cloud Drive Syncing Draw Backs
Reaction to the news has been mixed with a lot of positive feedback tempered with annoyance over the fact that it doesn’t do mobile synching -- a major drawback for those that are attracted to Amazon storage prices.
A number of comments on boards around the Web stated that if Cloud Drive was to offer the same kind of synching functionality as Dropbox, for example, they would move across straight away, while others are waiting for improvements in SkyDrive syncing to move there.
The message seems clear -- Cloud Drive desktop syncing is a step in the right direction, but not a step far enough. Mobile functionality has to be included in any future upgrades if it is to make any inroads in the current market.