Amazon’s Cloud Drive suite of services – file storage and sync, streaming music, and online photos – have always felt like something of an also-ran compared with market leaders like Google, Dropbox, Yahoo, and others. But things are slowly changing. With yesterday’s upgrade of Cloud Drive Photos for iOS, the company has introduced a host of changes making its mobile app now a more competitive offering.
Amazon Cloud Drive Photos, version 3.0, delivers a fresh, iOS 7-friendly redesign for the mobile storage service, which today includes 5 GB of free storage for all consumers. The service allows users to upload both photos and videos (up to 20 minutes in length) to the Amazon Cloud Drive service, which can also store other file types, including office documents and music, for example.
While the new look is the most immediately noticeable change for the new Cloud Drive Photos, the company also introduced a number of other features in the updated product as well, including the addition of simpler navigation that also lets you filter to see only albums or only videos, or all your content at once. You can now sort your photos and videos by date and name, too.
The date sorting option is cleverly implemented, with tiles for the current year (i.e. “2014”) and month (“Apr 2014″) at the top of your photo collection, which, when tapped, reveal a right-hand sidebar that lets you scroll back to other months and years with just a tap. The idea of sorting your photos into sections by date and time is something which many competing photo apps also do today, including the native Photos app on iOS 7 (“Collections”) as well as the just-launched Dropbox Photos app called Carousel.
Cloud Drive Photos will also now show the status of your automatic and manual uploads, and has improved the background uploading process. And, of course, as with any major update, there are a number of other bug fixes and crash fixes too.
The updated app is here on the iTunes App Store, for both iPad and iPhone.