One of the nice things about storage services Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft SkyDrive is the ability to upload, browse and access files stored in the cloud from the Mac OS X Finder or Windows Explorer, as if they were files on your hard drive.
Attempting to keep up, Amazon today expanded the capabilities of its CloudDrive storage service with the release of desktop apps for Windows and Mac. However, the level of operating-system integration in the CloudDrive apps is far more shallow than its rivals offer.
After downloading the app, users can upload to CloudDrive by right-clicking on a file, or by dragging a file to a special icon in the menu bar. But the big catch is that browsing the CloudDrive still requires opening up a web browser.
Considering the intensity of the cloud storage competition these days, this doesn’t exactly feel like a resounding response from Amazon.
The free CloudDrive apps work on Windows Vista and 7, and Mac OS 10.6 and 10.7.
Amazon offers 5 GB of storage for free, matching Google Drive. SkyDrive offers 7 GB for free. Dropbox starts at 2 GB but boosts user space for referrals of friends who sign up for the service.