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Amazon takes on Apple's Photo Stream with Cloud Drive Photos iOS app

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Amazon 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.

Amazon Photos


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.
post #2 of 55

Thanks, but No Thanks.

post #3 of 55

Since there's no time limit, the article didn't address if the app was also on Android - since they make a skinned Android tab. 

 

I'd expect so, so that people could simply maintain their accounts if they switched from an Android device to an iPhone (or vice-versa which likely does happen some).

 

Also not addressed was whether it was a "appears on all selected devices" system, so e.g., on a Mac, PC, iPad and Android device.

I understand the advantages of a unified ecosystem for Apple - especially for their less digitally competent customers - but too much lock-down isolating it from other device types makes me chafe and I think it's in their best long-term interest to allow wide-spread connectivity and sharing. 

I believe Photostream works on PC's - ??? - but I'm doubting there's an Android client - or a WinPhone 8 one, etc.  So if that's the case, lacking those cross-OS links from Apple itself, then a choice that already has them from a company I already do a lot of successful business with is kinda interesting to me.

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post #4 of 55
If it allows me to actually view my pictures in a browser then this would be great.
post #5 of 55

Amazon competes with everyone on the planet.  

post #6 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

I understand the advantages of a unified ecosystem for Apple - especially for their less digitally competent customers - but too much lock-down isolating it from other device types makes me chafe and I think it's in their best long-term interest to allow wide-spread connectivity and sharing. 
 

 

I agree - and it's going to bite them in the ass at some point if they don't eventually do that. 

post #7 of 55
Perhaps this will encourage all those 'sold' Android device owners to use the internet at last. 1biggrin.gif
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDavies View Post

Amazon competes with everyone on the planet.  

I think they are competing with me for my my wife too! They send her a box everyday it seems! 1wink.gif
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
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post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I think they are competing with me for my my wife too! They send her a box everyday it seems! 1wink.gif

Look at it this way, every box means one less trip to a store for you, and she's saving you money.
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post #10 of 55
So, basically it takes a year for Amazon to copy Apple's features.
post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

So, basically it takes a year for Amazon to copy Apple's features.

Surprised it took this long to be on iOS it's been on Android for awhile, and before you say "of course it was on android first because they use a forked version of Android" the Amazon video app which is on iOS is not on Android.
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post #12 of 55
CLOUD FIGHT!
Anyone betting that the online retailer will beat the OS companies?

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post #13 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

So, basically it takes a year for Amazon to copy Apple's features.

It takes a year to do it poorly, yes. Eventually, Jeff Bezos will make Amazon-brand spaghetti.

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post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I think they are competing with me for my my wife too! They send her a box everyday it seems! 1wink.gif

The scary thing is: the box is empty!

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post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I think they are competing with me for my my wife too! They send her a box everyday it seems! 1wink.gif

The scary thing is: the box is empty!

Lol. Maybe she's buying Seattle air.
post #16 of 55
I just ran out of my free 5GB of iCloud storage, so this is perfect! Will keep my camera roll on this app, and the remaining backups on iCloud. Downloading now.. Too bad they only have an iPhone app and no ipad 1frown.gif
post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by huffcw View Post

I agree - and it's going to bite them in the ass at some point if they don't eventually do that. 

Apple's been selling proprietary solutions for nearly 40 years, but eventually--EVENTUALLY--someday, any day now, it's going to bite them in the ass. Apple must license Mac OS / iTunes / iOS / iCloud / (next big thing) to everyone else. Or face eventual doom.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

So, basically it takes a year for Amazon to copy Apple's features.

 

I hope they don't copy it TOO closely. There's something wrong with Apple's offering. My photos keep disappearing after a couple weeks...

 

 

 

1wink.gif

post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post

I just ran out of my free 5GB of iCloud storage, so this is perfect! Will keep my camera roll on this app, and the remaining backups on iCloud. Downloading now.. Too bad they only have an iPhone app and no ipad 1frown.gif

Aren't Photostreams not counted toward your used space on iCloud?

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post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Apple's been selling proprietary solutions for nearly 40 years, but eventually--EVENTUALLY--someday, any day now, it's going to bite them in the ass. Apple must license Mac OS / iTunes / iOS / iCloud / (next big thing) to everyone else. Or face eventual doom.


Again, iTunes for Windows has only brought them more media sales - and more switchers.  Safari for Win wasn't a bad experiment or idea either, at least in concept.  Nor are Apple's many contributions to the Open Source community (primarily on the OS'd Unix kernel they use in OS X).

Licensing Mac OS on the other hand was an unmitigated disaster which Jobs (who green-lighted iTunes and Safari for Win) rectified. 

 

So enough talking point repetition.  Where every Apple innovation best fits into the computing world (for both Apple and its customers) is a case by case situation. OS X and iOS are certainly "no ways." And iCloud - again like previous web efforts has enough short-comings, I don't even care.  But iTunes, FaceTime and iMessages are all good candidates for setting universal standards that will accrue long-term bennies to both Apple and us.

Meanwhile I use - and will continue to use - non-Apple solutions for my writing, eMail, calendar, pic management, cloud storage, and anywhere I see more lock-in than value add.  Keynote is a gem though....

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post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Lol. Maybe she's buying Seattle air.

Or my all time favorite Perri-Air.
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post #22 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post


I hope they don't copy it TOO closely. There's something wrong with Apple's offering. My photos keep disappearing after a couple weeks...

1wink.gif

You claim to have a lot of problems with both Apple software and hardware (see the AppleCare thread).

I am calling total b-s.
post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

You claim to have a lot of problems with both Apple software and hardware (see the AppleCare thread).

I am calling total b-s.

It's certainly possible. If you were plot on a chart the issues people have there will be some people that either through the way they use their devices or by sheer bad luck (i.e.: law of large numbers) have a lot more issues than the average person. I think it's as much of a problem for them to say their problem is common or typical as it for the majority with nary an issue to say that these people don't have issues. The odds are against it, but that only makes it less probable, not impossible.
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/11/13 at 1:39pm

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post #24 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

It's certainly possible. If you were plot on a chart the issues people have there will be some people that either through the way they use their devices or by sheer bad luck (i.e.: law of large numbers) have a lot more issues than the average person. I think it's as much of a problem for them to say their problem is common or typical as it for the majority with nary an issue to say that these people don't have issues. The odds are against it, but that only makes it less probably, not impossible.

There are just some people that have bad luck when it comes to devices. My friend always has a problem regardless of manufacturer.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
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post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


You claim to have a lot of problems with both Apple software and hardware (see the AppleCare thread).

I am calling total b-s.

 

Go back and read it again. Then look up how Photostream works. Then laugh.

 

Big hugs,

Yer pal Sparky

post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82 View Post

I just ran out of my free 5GB of iCloud storage, so this is perfect! Will keep my camera roll on this app, and the remaining backups on iCloud. Downloading now.. Too bad they only have an iPhone app and no ipad 1frown.gif

 

You can get 5GB from Skydrive, 2GB from DropBox and lots of other places also for free.

 

Alternatives to iCloud have been available for years.

 

Too bad you have install Amazon's software and have an account.

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post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoXoM View Post

If it allows me to actually view my pictures in a browser then this would be great.

 

Like DropBox?

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post #28 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


It's certainly possible. If you were plot on a chart the issues people have there will be some people that either through the way they use their devices or by sheer bad luck (i.e.: law of large numbers) have a lot more issues than the average person. I think it's as much of a problem for them to say their problem is common or typical as it for the majority with nary an issue to say that these people don't have issues. The odds are against it, but that only makes it less probable, not impossible.

Of course, anything is 'certainly possible.'

But that's also something of a vacuous statement.
post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Of course, anything is 'certainly possible.'

But that's also something of a vacuous statement.

You're right, it is. Mea culpa.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


Apple's been selling proprietary solutions for nearly 40 years, but eventually--EVENTUALLY--someday, any day now, it's going to bite them in the ass. Apple must license Mac OS / iTunes / iOS / iCloud / (next big thing) to everyone else. Or face eventual doom.

They already did under sculley/amellio, and damn near ruined apple by allowing clone companies to run mac os.  No thanks.  iCloud is a feature on iOS not amazon and not droids.

They can build there own.  The first thing Jobs did during his comeback was to kill clones.  It was an extremely good thing too.

post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mechanic View Post

... iCloud is a feature on iOS not amazon and not droids.  They can build there own.  The first thing Jobs did during his comeback was to kill clones...

 

Its always surprising to me when Apple enters a market how quickly Apple fans assume Apple invented it and everyone else is a 'clone' copying them and stealing their ip.

 

You do realize Amazon is the largest cloud provider in the world and was doing that years before Apple 'invented' iCloud?

 

When Apple did invent iCloud it was pretty easy for them.... they simply rented cloud space on (you guessed it) Amazons AWS servers.  Some of it is on Microsofts Azure cloud as well.  Apple started building data centers and trying to port their cloud off of Amazon, but they are having a pretty shaky start with it with quite a few more outages than the industry standard.

post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

Its always surprising to me when Apple enters a market how quickly Apple fans assume Apple invented it and everyone else is a 'clone' copying them and stealing their ip.

You do realize Amazon is the largest cloud provider in the world and was doing that years before Apple 'invented' iCloud?

When Apple did invent iCloud it was pretty easy for them.... they simply rented cloud space on (you guessed it) Amazons AWS servers.  Some of it is on Microsofts Azure cloud as well.  Apple started building data centers and trying to port their cloud off of Amazon, but they are having a pretty shaky start with it with quite a few more outages than the industry standard.

1) His comment is clearly about licensing.

2) His comment about clones isn't about copying or copycats, it's about the licensed clones that Apple allowed vendors to make, which Jobs killed when he came back.

3) Apple has been dealing with cloud-based services long before Amazon offered any such services as iCloud is only their latest marketed foray into cloud services.

4) Do you have any proof that Apple simply rents space from Amazon and MS in lieu of using their own data centers?

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #33 of 55

That's the nature of competition.

If Apple were to lose any iCloud - Photo Stream users to this, it will be on their own heads.

They must ensure that their product is continually such a superior product, that nobody would consider switching.

It's all up to them.

post #34 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

That's the nature of competition.
If Apple were to lose any iCloud - Photo Stream users to this, it will be on their own heads.
They must ensure that their product is continually such a superior product, that nobody would consider switching.
It's all up to them.

I don't think that would be a huge deal for Apple. If they find an alternative to Photostream they are still tied to iCloud by 2 dozen other services which tie users to iDevices and Macs.

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post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

Its always surprising to me when Apple enters a market how quickly Apple fans assume Apple invented it and everyone else is a 'clone' copying them and stealing their ip.

You do realize Amazon is the largest cloud provider in the world and was doing that years before Apple 'invented' iCloud?

When Apple did invent iCloud it was pretty easy for them.... they simply rented cloud space on (you guessed it) Amazons AWS servers.  Some of it is on Microsofts Azure cloud as well.  Apple started building data centers and trying to port their cloud off of Amazon, but they are having a pretty shaky start with it with quite a few more outages than the industry standard.

iTools circa 2000, look it up.

I hate it when people assume they know what other people assume then go on to state it emphatically as if by doing so makes it some sort of fact.
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post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

That's the nature of competition.
If Apple were to lose any iCloud - Photo Stream users to this, it will be on their own heads.
They must ensure that their product is continually such a superior product, that nobody would consider switching.
It's all up to them.

Why "switch" anything?

This is just another adjunct to iCloud among many.

There is nothing wrong with having multiple back ups, the more the merrier.
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post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

 

Its always surprising to me when Apple enters a market how quickly Apple fans assume Apple invented it and everyone else is a 'clone' copying them and stealing their ip.

 

You do realize Amazon is the largest cloud provider in the world and was doing that years before Apple 'invented' iCloud?

 

When Apple did invent iCloud it was pretty easy for them.... they simply rented cloud space on (you guessed it) Amazons AWS servers.  Some of it is on Microsofts Azure cloud as well.  Apple started building data centers and trying to port their cloud off of Amazon, but they are having a pretty shaky start with it with quite a few more outages than the industry standard.

 

Enough with the straw men.

 

Apple fans (which you are obviously not) know that Apple had the cloud services found in iCloud going all the way back to iTools, which was over a decade ago. iDisk, iWeb, iCards, email came from iTools and various new services were added or retired along the way, and the name and prices have changed several times, but iCloud is not Apple's first cloud. iTools became .Mac became MobileMe became iCloud. Apple switched to AWS and Azure only when these services became mature enough. But Apple had already been offering cloud services to Mac users for years before AWS or Azure came on the scene. (And those "clouds" aren't B2C cloud services anyway)

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post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

 

Enough with the straw men.

 

Apple fans (which you are obviously not) know that Apple had the cloud services found in iCloud going all the way back to iTools, which was over a decade ago. iDisk, iWeb, iCards, email came from iTools and various new services were added or retired along the way, and the name and prices have changed several times, but iCloud is not Apple's first cloud. iTools became .Mac became MobileMe became iCloud. Apple switched to AWS and Azure only when these services became mature enough. But Apple had already been offering cloud services to Mac users for years before AWS or Azure came on the scene. (And those "clouds" aren't B2C cloud services anyway)

 

Cloud computing has existed since the 1960's.  iTools was Apple's first foray and built on a house of cards (Apple was/is great at building hardware; IT services- not so much).  When they expanded it to MobileMe it fell apart.  Steve Jobs apologized for it.  Wow!  It has to be *really* bad for that to happen.  Actually he didn't apologize publicly.   He apologized internally to Apple employees and it went public.  As such it was probably had a little more candor than Steve would have let out publically ('not Apples finest hour', 'not up to our standards' etc)  That was when they switched over.  My *speculation* would be that they had to pick the least of their evils.  Using Google was definitely out.  Amazon was the biggest and best.  Microsoft was fledgling and just getting started.  Apple wasn't sure they could rely on MS so they hedged their bets by using both.  I believe they were MS's biggest customer and essentially gave Azure the foothold it needed to grow.   So yes, iTools was there and Apple knew they wanted to do Cloud type services in 2000.  When they needed one that *worked* reliably they switched to people who could do it.  That is also when Apple realized it was *hard* and started a big push for their own data centers.  I have little doubt Apple will eventually be 100% on their own data centers and be doing it with tremendous success.

 

I am actually an Apple fan and like it when Apple does things well.  There are still things I miss about my iPhone.  It has a lot of things that do indeed work more seamlessly than Android, and what I really miss is the little hardware switch that would let me toggle it into silent mode instantly.  I generally try to be considerate and turn my phone off in a theater or meeting- but it annoys me that in order to do that on my Android phone I have to do what I'm trying to avoid... pull my phone out and fidget with it in order to put it in silent mode through the ui.

 

Anyways...  I'll admit I never crossed into the Apple fanatic category.  I look at a phone as a piece of consumer electronics- like a toaster or television.  I pick the one that works best for me.  What I don't often understand is the exclusionary mindset, that once Apple decides to enter a market either nobody else should be allowed to enter it, or they are just "copying" Apple.  Whether it be a smart watch, television, or cloud services.

 

It is just my view, and I'll share it but you are free to disagree :), that openness is good for Apple.  Amazon putting a cloud based picture streaming on iOS?  So what?  If Apples offering is the best-thing-ever-because-its-flawless-its-Apple, then nobody will use Amazons product.  If people actually do start using Amazon there must be something they are doing better.  Apple has two fixes for their problem.  Either make their product better, or wall off their garden and users will have to use Apple's offering.  Every time I see an Apple fan push for the walled garden solution it baffles me.  If you hate Amazon or Google, don't use them.  You are still getting a big benefit from them because everybody who does switch over and uses them forces Apple to improve its own offerings.

post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frood View Post

What I don't often understand is the exclusionary mindset...

Like when you ignored all of Apple's previous cloud services so you could infer that Amazon beat Apple to market so you could slam everyone that uses iCloud?
Edited by SolipsismX - 5/12/13 at 7:37am

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #40 of 55
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post
Like when you ignored all of Apple's previous cloud services so you could infer that Amazon beat Apple to market so you could slam everyone that uses iCloud?

 

He needs to reply to this before saying anything else.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

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