Amazon has launched Cloud Drive Photos, an Android app that makes it easy to store and share photographs to and from the the cloud. It’s a consumer-oriented app build on top of Amazon Cloud Drive, a cloud-storage service that competes with the likes of Dropbox and Google Drive.
Like its competitors, Cloud Drive Photos offers 5 gigs of free storage, with premium account levels available for upgrading to higher capacities. $10/year buys you an extra 20GB, while $199/year expands your drive to 200GB.
The app integrates deeply into Android smartphones and tablets. You’ll find options to upload photographs to your Cloud Drive inside Android Gallery. Pressing and holding photos or entire albums will reveal an “Upload to Cloud Drive” option. Unlike services like Apple Photo Stream, beaming images to the cloud requires manual action on your part — there isn’t currently auto-syncing built into the app.
Photos you’ve sent over to the cloud can also be viewed through the app as though they reside on your phone, making sharing the images as easy as sharing locally-stored images. This allows you to preserve your images in the case that you ever lose or damage your phone, and also allows you to clear up some storage space locally if you ever run low.