Friday, May 10, 2013, 09:50 pm PT (12:50 am ET)
Amazon takes on Apple's Photo Stream with Cloud Drive Photos iOS appAmazon on Friday released its Cloud Drive Photos app, and corresponding 5 gigabytes worth of free cloud storage, in what is essentially a competitor to Apple's own iCloud-based Photo Stream service.
Like Photo Stream, images are uploaded to Amazon's cloud through Amazon Cloud Drive Photos, which accesses an iOS device's camera roll, or via an OS X app that can be downloaded from Amazon's website. Photos can then be viewed on the iOS and OS X apps, or on a web client.
As Amazon does not have access to high-level iOS device functions, operation is not as seamless as Apple's implementation, but the app brings an automated mode that comes close to replicating the Photos, iPhoto and iCloud experience. First the app asks for access to a user's camera roll, and once the auto setting is turned on, will upload new photos as they are added.
Manual options include the backing of a user's entire entire camera roll, or just select photos from various albums. As with other cloud storage apps, as well as Apple's own Photos, Amazon Cloud Drive Photos supports sharing via Facebook, Twitter and email.
Another consideration is storage. Apple only allows 1,000 photos to be stored on its servers for up to 30 days, while Amazon affords 2,000 pictures with no time limit. The online retail giant also has extra storage options for shutterbugs, with three subscription tiers starting at 20GB for $10 per year, 50GB for $25, and 100GB for $50.
Amazon Cloud Drive Photos for iOS comes in at 11.2MB and can be downloaded for free from the App Store. Use of the app and its attached cloud storage assets require an Amazon.com account.
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