I love the mobile computing gadgets available today, but most of them are normally restricted to whatever storage space is available within the device. In most cell phone and tablet computers, that can be anything from 8 gigabytes to 64 gigabytes of storage space. A very few mobile devices, such as the iPad, may offer more. I often find that I need more storage space than that to store all the pictures, videos, songs, and documents I create. A second issue is the ability to share pictures and videos amongst mobile devices as well as with desktop and laptop computers. After all, if you take a picture with your cell phone’s camera, you probably want to also save it on your other devices, including the desktop system at home.
You can find dozens of services that offer the capability to copy and to share anything from your cell phone or tablet computer. However, one of the easiest products to use is Amazon Cloud Drive. I have been using it for several months and am pleased with it. Amazon Cloud Drive offers up to five gigabytes of free storage space with more space available at reasonable charges. I also like the fact that my photos and videos are saved in multiple places, including a cloud-based storage service that is managed by data professionals. I doubt if any disaster will ever cause me to lose all copies of my precious pictures.
Another feature of Amazon Cloud Drive is that you can immediately share photos and videos via email and Facebook directly from the mobile device. The same service will also save music and documents of all sorts although most people will not be uploading those from a cell phone and perhaps not from a tablet. I copied a few thousand MP3 music files from my desktop computer to Amazon Cloud Drive and now can listen to those songs from my mobile devices. This is better than radio as I listen to what I want, when I want and without commercials.
Once installed, using Amazon Cloud Drive is about as easy to use as you might imagine. Using the cell phone or tablet, tap on the Amazon Cloud Drive icon, select the photos to be uploaded (another option is to upload EVERYTHING), and your photos and videos are sent to Cloud Drive immediately if connected to the Internet. Later, using a Windows or Macintosh computer that has Amazon Cloud Drive installed, simply click on the Cloud Drive icon, select the folder (mine is named “Dick Eastman’s iPhone”), and you will then see all the pictures and videos that were sent from the mobile device. Using your mobile device, you can also download (retrieve) anything stored in Amazon Cloud Drive any time you are connected to the Internet.
While Amazon Cloud Drive offers up to five gigabytes of free storage to everyone, you also can purchase 20 gigabytes of space for only $10 a year or 50 gigabytes for only $25 a year. Even more storage space is available at higher prices, up to one terabyte (1,000 gigabytes).
Amazon also recently announced they will soon be selling a new cell phone, called the Amazon Fire Phone. (See http://goo.gl/QOe0BP for details.) While not yet available, the company has announced that anyone who purchases a Fire Phone will also receive FREE, UNLIMITED storage for all the photos taken with their Fire phone. Free unlimited storage? Now, that’s a great price!
The Amazon Cloud Drive software is available free of charge for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android cell phones, Android tablets, Amazon Fire Phone, Windows, and Macintosh. In addition, you can use a web browser on almost any computer—even one at a public library or at an Internet cafe—to access Amazon Cloud Drive. Amazon Cloud Drive is supported on Internet Explorer version 8 or greater, as well as the later versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari.
An Internet connection obviously is required to upload or to retrieve the pictures, videos, and documents. For mobile devices, if an Internet connection is not available at the moment a new picture is added, the picture is stored and then uploaded whenever an Internet connection becomes available. Another option is to upload only by a wi-fi connection or to use your cell phone company’s cellular data connection. Since cellular data connections can be expensive, I configured my copies of Amazon Cloud Drive to upload only by wi-fi connections.
Amazon Cloud Drive also requires an Amazon user name and password, available to anyone free of charge. In my opinion, all computer users should have an Amazon account anyway as it is so useful for many different purposes. I am a big fan of Amazon and recommend it to everyone. Besides Cloud Drive, I use Amazon for many other purposes, including most all of my non-grocery shopping. I save hundreds of dollars per year as Amazon prices are usually cheaper than prices found in retail stores, even after adding in shipping charges. I also signed up for Amazon Prime several years ago, an optional service which offers free shipping on most items, although not for everything. Amazon also offers music downloads, streaming movies, and much more. Amazon Cloud Drive is simply one more free or low-cost service available from Amazon.
Amazon Cloud Drive certainly is not the only service that will upload, save, and share your pictures and videos. If you are presently using a different service and are happy with it, you probably don’t want to switch. However, if you are not happy with your present service or would like to obtain another five gigabytes of storage space at no charge, or if you don’t yet have a cloud-based storage and sharing service, you might want to check out Amazon Cloud Drive at https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/learnmore.