With big players like Amazon, Google and Apple jumping into the game, cloud computing and cloud storage is going mainstream big time and it going to become to dominant factor in years to come. To make things even more interesting, the Android Market is also booming, bringing along all the exciting apps to the table. Amazon’s own Android Appstore is giving away a free paid app every day, for instance.
It doesn’t matter if you run a mobile website or just want to dump your personal files and data somewhere, your need for more storage is something that is ever-growing. Rather than upgrading your storage, here are a few Android apps and services that you can use right now to help you offload your data to the cloud and extend your device’s capabilities. Apps that go beyond something cool to have, but also provide great features and usability.
No need to upgrade SD card or buy a new Android device. These awesome apps will let you store your files on the cloud, apps that provide streaming media to help you skip downloading stuff directly to your device. If you are thinking about buying an Android smartphone or have bought one and want to start maximizing its potential then here are my top five cool Android apps for cloud:
Dropbox is deemed the best and one of the simplest apps in the Android Market that offers the most hassle free user experience of storing and downloading files online. Though the 2 GB storage may seem less for you, it is good enough to store documents and variety of files that can be accessed from anywhere. The app offers a no non-sense interface to upload files and mark them as favorites for offline viewing.
The Android app lets you access all the files in your Dropbox from the palm of your hand, and these files can be synced from your computer or other mobile devices. And yes, you can also refer your friends to increase your free storage.
App Link: Dropbox
Requires: Android 1.5+
Amazon Cloud Player
Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Player lets you store music in the cloud. Amazon caused a stir in both the music industry and the cloud storage arena when they launched Amazon Cloud Player. This was primarily because they launched a music storage locker in the cloud without the blessings of the major players in the music industry.
Within Cloud Player, which gives you 5GB of free cloud storage for your music, you can access the music stored in your Cloud Drive and the music stored on your device. You can switch between these two music libraries using the “Cloud” and “Device” tabs. Play your music via the web or stream it right on your Android device using the Amazon MP3 app, which also gives you access to buy music directly from the Amazon MP3 Store. For a limited time, you can get an extra 15GB of storage space simply by purchasing an album through their store.
App Link: Amazon MP3
Requires: Android 1.6+, and you must be in the USA
Your very own personalized radio station, Pandora is great if you want music and aren’t that picky about what you’re listening to. Pandora Radio is your own FREE personalized radio and is available to stream music on your Android phone. Just start with the name of one of your favorite artists, songs or classical composers and Pandora will create a “station” that plays their music and more music like it.
Tell Pandora your favorite artist, song, or classical composer and it will play a continuous stream of related music for you. No hassle with obtaining and syncing music, no reason to worry about storage space.
App Link: Pandora Internet Radio
Requires: Android 1.5+
Movies, TV Shows, and video entertainment in general will eat away at your storage faster than all those apps you can’t help installing. There are a few different ways to stream video to your Android, but some lucky users now have access to Netflix. Using this app, you can watch as often as you want and resume watching where you left off on your TV or computer.
This app is part of your Netflix unlimited membership. If you have a supported handset and a Netflix account, you can access their huge catalog of movies and tv shows over 3G or WiFi without using up storage on your device. There are only six officially supported devices at this time, but that number seems to be growing rapidly.
App Link: Netflix
Requires: Android 2.2+
Google Play (Music)
Not to be outdone by the likes of Amazon, Google launched their own cloud storage music locker. The service is nearly identical to Amazon’s, offering a web interface and complimentary Android application.
The Google Play Music app lets you listen to your music collection anywhere. All your music is stored online, so no need to worry about syncing or storage space. Google Music also comes with access to a bunch of free music. Access your entire music library instantly with the Google Play Music app, and save your favorites for offline playback. Accounts are free (for now) and offer the ability to store 20,000 songs as opposed to measuring storage in GB.
App Link: Music
Requires: Android 2.2+