Amazon's Cloud Drive service is only one of the many cloud storage services that are vying for your dollar. In fact, you could argue that Amazon doesn't give you the best deal in terms of free storage. It does, however, get points for the new updates rolling out today.
Amazon sent out a notice today saying that Cloud Drive is now available in Italy and Spain. It was recently launched in the UK, Germany and France after a successful launch in the U.S. last year. Launching in new territories is always a plus, but Amazon isn't stopping there.
“Cloud Drive makes digital file storage simple and secure – two very important features for customers who want to organize and manage precious files like photos,” said Russell Dicker, director of Cloud Drive for Amazon. “Now you never have to worry about losing important documents or photos to hard drive crashes, or not being able to access files that are spread between a number of devices. Cloud Drive stores digital files like photos, videos and documents all in one place that is easily accessible from any PC or Mac – and coming soon in Europe, Kindle Fire.”
U.S.-based Cloud Drive customers will now be able to share files with friends and family. It only applies to files that you've uploaded so purchased music and movies are out of the question. It does, however, make it easy to share family vacation pics if the whole family is using Cloud Drive.
While the sharing capability is only for U.S. users, Amazon is also introducing a new desktop app for Macs across all territories. Mac users will now be able to upload photos directly from iPhoto to Cloud Drive using the Cloud Drive Desktop App for Macs.
Just like in the U.S., European users will be treated to 5GB of free storage with Amazon Cloud Drive. Users can pay either £6 or €8 a year for 20GB of data. In the U.S., 20GB will cost you $10 a year.
These updates put Amazon's Cloud Drive on a level playing field with Google Drive. Both services offer 5GB of free storage and both now allow you to share files with friends and family. It will be interesting to see if Google responds with new services and features to get ahead of Amazon in the coming weeks and months.