Syncing Files: Amazon Cloud Drive and Google Drive

In the last couple weeks, Google Drive and Amazon Cloud Drive have both released desktop versions of their online drives. These desktop applications make it easy to keep your music, videos, pictures, and documents available online via any device such as a computer, a smartphone, a tablet, a media player or even your television.

Up to now, the most common application for online drives has been syncing music via services like iCloud, Amazon Cloud Player, and Google Play. With the explosion of tablets, smartphones, SSD laptops, more and more people want access to all their files anytime. Now music, video, ebooks, documents, spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations, movies, and much more can be easily access via cloud services like Dropbox, Box, Amazon Cloud Drive and Google Drive.

While Amazon and Google have both offered some form of an online drive for the past year, their recent desktop versions make it easy to upload files to your cloud drive. Here’s a quick snapshot of both services.

Google Drive
Working similar to the Mobile Me service, Google Drive installs a “sync folder” on your desktop. You can sign up at Google Drive. In order to use it, you must have a Gmail account. Google Drive comes with 5GB of free space. Once you install the drive, it immediately syncs all your online Google Docs to the sync folder on your computer. Whenever you want to add a file to Google Drive, simply drop the file in your sync folder. If you’re online, it will automatically sync folders. If not, it will automatically sync files as soon as your online again.

You can create new folders in your Google Drive folder, move files between folders, and add/remove files. Google Drive immediately syncs folders, files, and any changes you’ve made.

Amazon Cloud Drive
The Amazon Cloud Drive does not install a sync folder on your computer. It installs an icon in your system tray. Once you install the application, you can click on the Amazon Cloud icon. Then you’ll need to sign into your Amazon account (or create an account if you don’t have one). Like Google Drive, it comes with 5 GB of free space. To sync a file, simply drag a file or folder to the Amazon Cloud icon, and it will instantly begin to sync the files.

I wanted to test it’s ability to detect file types, so I added some MP3 files to the Amazon Cloud icon. Then I opened the Amazon Player on my Android. The MP3 files were on my Amazon Player ready for play or download. It’s a simple process, but if you want to add multiple MP3 files, Amazon recommends you Launch Cloud Player.

Which cloud drive is better? So far, I can’t recommend one drive over another at this point. Currently I am syncing files to iCloud, Box, Dropbox, Amazon and Google Drive. I want to compare how they develop and what process is simplest. If you want to share files, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box offer simple share solutions. Amazon doesn’t appear to offer a sharing solution at this point. All services offer the ability to expand the drive size based on some type of fee.

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