Cloud storage is a booming business and it’s in the mobile market where it’s really growing in popularity at an astonishing pace. It makes sense, as more and more of us demand the ability to upload, edit and download files at will. In this article we’ll run through the top 5 apps currently available for Android devices.
Let’s deal with one of the big hitters first. Box is an established name in the cloud storage world and has a well-developed presence in the mobile market. Box mobile users get 10GB of free storage and the app allows you to edit and share a wide variety of file types. It also allows uploading and downloading to SD cards, has a great built-in search, and has a new feature called Box OneCloud. OneCloud allows you to open and edit Box files on other apps installed on your device. Box is a good choice when it comes to android cloud storage solutions as it’s integrated into many apps.
Dropbox is probably the most well known name and it’s by far and away the most downloaded app in the Google Play store. It matches Box’s 10GB of free storage and offers the same features, but it’s user interface is the most graphically pleasing of the bunch in this list. One of the biggest selling points of Dropbox is simply the level of penetration it has; if you’re looking for a mobile cloud service to share files and collaborate with other users, most will probably already have Dropbox installed on their device. It’s also available on pretty much every platform, so if cross-platform integration is important, you can’t go wrong with Dropbox. It’s likely to remain at the top since it’s so reliable and simple to use.
Google Drive is quickly becoming the most versatile cloud storage solution for mobile devices, as it works so seamlessly with the rest of the Android ecosystem. What makes Google Drive stand out from the rest is that it has the most feature rich set of editing options when it comes to editing documents and spreadsheets. Google Drive does seem a little bland for our liking though, but that may just be down to taste. One other core difference between Google Drive and the competition is that it’s optimised for use on a variety of screen sizes, which allows it to make much better use of the screen real estate and therefore offers a better overall user experience.
Skydrive is Microsoft’s latest effort in the mobile cloud market. If you’re already a long term Skydrive user, then using this app is a no-brainer since you’re already heavily invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. Unfortunately Skydrive is a little light on features, most notably when it comes to editing and creating documents. It’s disappointing to see that such a well-known company doesn’t offer the variety and scope of editing features that other smaller companies have managed to so easily accomplish. Still, where Skydrive really shines is with it’s usability. With Microsoft you get a trusted brand which means that this has been tested and is virtually bug free. It’s a stable and reliable cloud platform to choose.
Ubuntu One only gives you 5GB of free storage but is our top pick if you simply need a cloud storage solution to sync and share photos. It instantly uploads photos you take and makes linking to social networks like Facebook and Twitter, a simple one-click process. When it comes to automatic uploading, Ubuntu One is probably the most customizable app on the list; with options to select only certain galleries to automatically upload, enable auto-uploading when roaming or charging, and even cancel uploads and downloads.
It’s a light and frivolous cloud service beyond photos though, so if you’re a business user or need to edit documents on the go, give this one a miss.
No matter which cloud service you choose, remember that you’re not tied down to the one you download. Feel free to download a few and get to know how they work. If you’re a business user or require a lot of storage, testing out the mobile app beforehand gives you a good indication of how reliable the overall service will be. That said you don’t have to stick with the apps on our list either. There are many cloud storage apps available in the Google Play store and most could have made our list easily.