It might feel like your cloud, but the people behind it make all the difference

This week is all about the cloud and how mobile users like you and me use it, abuse it, love it and hate it. Yes, it's possible to do all these things at the same time. The "Cloud" means different things to different people at different times. Maybe you use Google Drive or Office 360 for document collaboration — that's the cloud. Maybe you use Evernote to store the things that you need to keep track of to make life easy — that's the cloud, too. So are you game saves in iCloud, or your Movies you bought from Samsung or HTC, or the music you stream from Google. The cloud is complicated.

Because things can be so complicated, some cloud service providers are better at things than others. It's hard to get the technical details just right, then add forward facing things so that users feel comfortable. Google's working on that with CARDS CARDS CARDS everywhere, Apple is revamping their look and feel, taking away some of that rich Corinthian leather look, and newcomers like Samsung and HTC are just beginning to find their stride. It's good that things stay fluid, and hopefully each iteration is better than the next.

But everyone has a favorite. It's human nature to have preferences, and even if you're like us here at Android Central and Mobile Nations as a whole and use multiple cloud service providers, you still think one company does it better. Tell us in this week's poll. You'll find it in the sidebar to the right, or embedded after the break.

Before we leave, a quick look at last week's results.

Which 'flagship' phone are you going with?

Poll results

It looks like Android Central readers favor the HTC One, with the yet-to-be-announced phones like the next Nexus or the Note 3 coming in a close second. Good thing every choice was a great one, right?


Reader comments

This week's sidebar poll: The Cloud - who does it right?


Linux will always be the odd commune on the corner giving away tanks. I like Ubuntu, but it's not user-friendly enough for my personal use and doesn't support the software I need professionally.

I just look at google and see everything I could imagine one needing for cloud storage...

Music, Docs, Pics, Calendar, Contacts, Emails, Apps... I'm not entirely sure what else you could want to back up. I suppose text messages and your call log(although I guess Google Voice does that?).

What Google needs to do next, is take all of these services and put them in one easy to manage location- the detriment for them is that you have to use Google Drive, GMail, Google Play Music, Google Voice, etc, etc to get a FULL cloud experience. If they could find a way to merge all of these services into one, easy to manage portal(you could just call it Google Cloud Services or something), that would be awesome.

Been using SkyDrive for awhile now. Not knocking the competition, but it just works perfectly across my four different Windows 8 machines. And the Android app ain't half bad either.

"Maybe you use Google Drive or Office 360 for document collaboration"

Office 365 Jerry?

Office 365 specifically their 2013 roll out has renewed some of my faith in microsoft being able to do something. They've replaced the sharepoint client with SkyDrive Pro which makes for easy browsing through sharepoint document repositories. Mix that with the ease of uploading and editing through the app and they are my winner.

Its pricey but i dont mind when someone else is paying for it

I can't stand skydive pro because the naming causes misconceptions, it's still running on share point and has some serious limitations on file storing and formats one thing that really annoys me is that you can't upgrade pro space, reason I can't use it.

Ubuntu One is my cloud storage of choice. They are the only ones who auto-sync pictures (or any folder I choose) between my phone, pc, and Ubuntu One account. I love having the option to delete any pic or file I want from my phone almost immediately after saving it if I need the extra room for some reason. Mega has the option to ato-sync from phone to cloud, but their upload speeds are god-awful! Ubuntu One has 'em all beat hands-down....and on the pc end of things they support Win, Mac and ;)

As a fellow Ubuntu user I have to disagree on your comment about having Google beaten hands down. Google offers you 15GBs shared over Gmail, Google+ photos and Drive free whereas Ubuntu One only gives you 5GBs free.

Google Drive doesn't currently offer an Ubuntu based client which would be the only let down. An alternative to that would be to use Insync Pro which is 9.99 USD* per Google account (one time payment).

I've found that the Google pricing structure on Drive is more competitive than other cloud services.

Android Central: News and reviews but damn it, no booze.

The only way to auto-sync pictures with Google Drive is to upload them to G+. Also, you can't set any folder you want to auto-sync, only pictures. Also, if you're talking about paying for cloud storage, then you have the option to buy more storage with Ubuntu One, so you can get just as much space as you would with Google Drive. IMO, 5GB is enough for pics since that's all I use it for. Auto-sync is far more important to me than more storage.

As far as auto backing up photos I'd have to say Google+ does a pretty stand up job. Every thing you mentioned Google+ can do besides the app for Ubuntu.

Posted via Android Central App

Google does it right, and on mobile it's especially true if you're Android or iOS.

I will stick with Google right now because they offer a better package and skydive coming 2nd, sure Google are slower then ms to add more features, what they do have still outshines others.

Currently on Google apps for business single user using galaxy note 8 and s4.

For me it has to be Google Drive, although SugarSync was my favourite a couple of years ago.

Android Central: News and reviews but damn it, no booze.

Well, I'm on my S4, the only cloud services from Google are my contacts n apps, and Google+ picture upload. But, from SCloud, I back up settings, texts/mms, wallpapers and call log. So I rely on both.. Wish Google would do all of it! I'm a flasholic... N I like SCloud better than backup apps. Just started using it a few months ago. Much Better, I think.

Skydrive is my cloud of choice across my Windows 8 laptop, Windows phone 8 phone and Android phone.

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I think Skydrive is amazing for photos. The photo viewer is the best of all of the cloud services.

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Yeah, sharing photos with friends and family is primarily what I use cloud space for, along with keeping a handful of documents I like having on hand at any time (resume and the like) and you're right, SkyDrive has an awesome photo viewer! It works great to put in someone's email address and send them a link to a folder of 125 pics, with or without permission to edit or download, without having to give permission to get to anything else I've got stored.

I voted Google because they offer the best cloud options for me (unlimited pics at 2048x2048 and videos at <15 minutes), 20,000 songs matched/uploaded for free, contacts, etc. but Dropbox is better for file storage IMO. Though if I didn't have over 10GB of free storage with them, I'd probably be using Drive instead.

Personally, I love Dropbox and Box. Google Drive seems to be clunky, in my opinion.

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I just love how Google drive syncs with my Google account. If it weren't for that I would probably use DB


Yeah, I can agree with that. I think, what turned me away from primarily using Drive was how glitchy it was on Chrome OS. Still, a great service, though.

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The sync plus document collaboration. I can go to any computer, all my documents are there and I can edit them all without having to download anything. They're just there and it just works.

Google Drive for documents and Box for everything else. Dropbox is nice, but it doesn't beat 50GB free lifetime storage! :P

Posted from my pure Google Nexus 4 using the Android Central app.

I agree; I only use Dropbox because I have 50GB of free storage. I have 50GB of free Box storage and 100GB of free Drive storage. The Box storage is free forever, but Dropbox and Google are only free for 2 years.

The desktop client, for Windows 8, makes Dropbox the easiest to sync to.

All three services are great, though.

Posted via Android Central App

Autosync folders, (nearly) unlimited storage space and (most important) end-to-end encryption: I use btsync and my private cloud.
Drawback: you have to have at least one device "always on" or a hosted server with enough space and ul/dl.

I had to say how much I like Dropbox over drive but I guess it isn't just me..

Drive wants to integrate too much. I just want my file sometimes and it was just a hassle to download a file. It's been a few months since I used it because I love Dropbox though.

I'm also on a s3 on sprint with barely a 3g connection too. So working directly from the cloud is not an option to even try for me.

And I'll save my storage space for Gmail. I'm a heavy Gmail user over Google plus or Pocket or something like that. It just works for my style.

I prefer Box. They gave me 50GB free - it came with my LG Optimus G last December and it'll remain free for the life of the account. I'm sold.

You didn't include the Optimous G Pro in this so I'm sure quite a few of the not listed votes were for that. Its a shame every one but Andrew glossed over this one. Its every bit as good a phone as the One and S4.

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Google is the best cloud solution IMHO because it's automatic on an Android device and the services are becoming more and more integrated.

Posted via Android Central App

Google is good for most of my cloud: contacts, calendar, email. But for files I still prefer Copy & Dropbox.

Dropbox is good and has many people using it so I give it a nod, but Copy gives you more space to start and is as fast as Dropbox. The one thing Copy doesn't have is the "built in" web apps.

Copy will give you 20GB if you click on a referral link like this one

Speaking for myself. I have:

Google Drive

All installed on my Note 2 device. I originally began with Skydrive on my WinPhone7 device and migrated over after Android. I don't rely on Cloud computing for major storage, for that I keep a 32gb card in my phone and store locally. Other things that are not as critical I keep in the Clouds. Some things I keep stored in Cloud and physically. Cellular service is never 100% reliable and I will never trust important and private information to be openly stored(even though protected by password) on a network somewhere that is subject to lack of network availability, network outages, server crashes, etc. There are numerous websites out there for people who do nothing but hack into your Cloud storage to retrieve and post all those photos you took of yourself in the mirror.....You know what I mean.

If you've ever tried to get a file from the clouds when you are deep within a building that has no open wifi or you're not on their network and the best you can get is either a 3G or less, roaming, connection on your phone you will earn to not rely on Cloud based storage for nothing other than trivial things.

Of all the different Cloud services I hold accounts with, I cannot say truthfully that one works better than the other. The coordination between Phone/Computer/Family phones/Tablets/Laptops/Other Desktops all work just as well and with the same basic limitations as any other.