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Monday, April 01, 2013, 01:18 pm PT (04:18 pm ET)

Amazon adds file syncing to Cloud Drive, drops rates below Dropbox

The struggle between cloud storage providers took another turn on Monday, with Amazon announcing a new version of its Cloud Drive app that brings the ability to sync files across mobile, web, and desktop clients.

a peek


Amazon's Cloud Drive has been around for some time, but Monday's update to its capabilities brings it closer to par with popular storage service Dropbox. Cloud Drive users can now download the Cloud Drive app to their Mac or Windows PC as well as to an Android device.

Upon installing the app on a desktop, notebook, or Android device, the contents of a user's cloud drive will remain synced between devices. Changes to files are automatically pushed to other Cloud Drive-connected machines.

The update also means that Amazon's Cloud Player music storage feature has been spun off into a separate operation.

Cloud Drive users automatically start with 5GB of storage for free, with 20GB through 1TB of storage available for $10 to $500 per year. Music listeners can use Cloud Player to store 250 imported songs for free or 250,000 imported songs for $25 per year.

In adding file syncing to its cloud service, Amazon comes into stiffer competition with Dropbox, even undercutting the popular storage service. Apple's iCloud/iTunes Match is still the most widely-used cloud service in the United States, while Dropbox is a distant second. Amazon's Cloud Drive is close behind Dropbox, though, and the lower pricing model Amazon is taking may lead to some shifts in numbers.