Amazon Cloud Drive mobile app launched perhaps prematurely

Amazon may have a booming business when it comes to enterprise cloud and remote computing services, but for consumer storage, Google and Dropbox, and sometimes even OneDrive, lead the race. Trying to catch up with the big players, Amazon has launched its own mobile app for its Cloud Drive, but that might be doing it more harm than good. It's not that the app is plagued with broken features. It's that there are very few features to speak of, earning many disappointed, even irate, reviews from mobile users.

Amazon Cloud Drive actually landed on Android about two weeks ago but it was only this weekend that the iOS version was launched. You'd think that, in between that time, Amazon might have been able to refine the app or at least its strategy. And yet, the two apps are basically similar, which is to say that they are more bare than barebones.

To say the app is practically just a mobile browser for Cloud Drive might even be speaking too much of it. It does let users see what files they have stored in Amazon's cloud but there is very little else they can do with those files. Segregated between Documents, Photos, and Videos, the number of actions you can do with those files are extremely limited. You can't even upload files from your mobile device, a necessity in any cloud service app. The Photos section of the app would seem to duplicate the existing Cloud Drive Photos app, but you'd be pleased to know that it doesn't. Compared to the standalone app, this one barely does anything. It would have probably been better if Amazon just launched the Photos app whenever that section was selected.

And the list of sins go on. Viewing files is a hit or miss that depends on support for that file type, which sort of contradicts its purpose as a cloud storage viewer. Sharing to the public is allowed but sharing in private isn't supported. Streaming music or videos stored on your Amazon account is possible, but you are, again, better served by Amazon's independent Cloud Player/Prime Music apps.

In the end, Amazon Cloud Drive sounds like an alpha version that should have never been released to the public in that state. Considering the two week gap between Android and iOS launch, there is little room to consider this a mistaken premature launch. The missing features might be forgivable in a no-name company but definitely doesn't stand up to Amazon's stature. Of course, the company could simply iterate, even quickly, over the apps in due time, but in this tight cloud business race, putting your best foot forward can mean the difference between victory or defeat.

Download: Amazon Cloud Drive (iOS), (Android)