Tag Archives: Amazon

Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. Amazon vs. Skydrive: Which One Is Fastest?

As cloud computing services become ever more popular, you might begin to wonder how much you can really trust them to perform when you need them? I decided to find out – by testing the top file-transfer/file-storage/file-backup services.

Cloud Computing

In many ways, getting a file from one computer to multiple computers is the most challenging task for the cloud. And because I like to use multiple computers running multiple operating systems, including Linux, Windows and the Mac, that function is particularly important to me.

Cloud Services Can Lag

I am pretty agnostic when it comes to cloud providers – as long as they are free or close to it. However, as I was moving files around while preparing my most recent book A Week at the Beach The 2013 Emerald Isle Travel Guide I was a little surprised at the lags I sometimes experienced using the big-name cloud-based file-transfer services.

More than once when I wanted to use a file from one computer to another, I was disappointed by my cloud services. There were a few times that I got so tired of waiting for a file to show up on my other computer’s cloud drive that I resorted to sneakernet using a USB thumb drive.

After my book was published, I decided to go back and run some simple tests to see just how long the four best-known file-transfer/backup services actually take to put the files where you want them.

To compare Dropbox, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud, and Microsoft’s SkyDrive I started by exporting a 500K JPEG test image from Lightroom on my Windows 8 computer directly to each of the four services.

Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. Amazon vs. Skydrive

Fighting The Randomization Factor

After running the tests a few times, I noticed what can only be described as random operating system differences. Sometimes the file would pop up first on my Mac and other times it showed up first on my Windows 7 laptop.

In order to eliminate the operating system differences, I restarted the tests and this time stopped the timer when the file showed up on either my Mac running Mountain Lion or my Windows 7 laptop. I also reran my tests with a variety of sizes and types of files. In all I ran twenty-five sets of tests.

The differences were significant, if not overwhelmingly huge. The fastest synchs took less than 3 seconds, while a few others took several minutes. The biggest chunk of tests clocked in between 10 seconds and one minute. A few synchs never completed. But which service recorded the best times with the fewest problems?

testsetup

Dropbox FTW!

Dropbox ended up being fastest 56% of the time. Even more importantly, it was slowest only 4% of the time.

Skydrive brought up the rear. It was fastest on 12% of the tests, but but slowest on a whopping 80% of the tests. It also had two files that never showed up on the Mac and one that never showed on the Windows 7 laptop.

The Amazon Cloud slightly outpaced Google Drive – which had one file that never showed up on the Mac and another that took a very long time to complete.

Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. Amazon vs. Skydrive

If my tests convinced me of anything, it is that Skydrive is a work in progress and has a long way to go. I even had trouble setting up the tests on Skydrive.

My tests also revealed a number of odd results. When testing files saved from Word, strange extra files sometimes showed up on all the cloud drives except Dropbox. The file names always began with the characters “~$”. Sometimes the mystery files disappeared and sometimes they hung around.

Cloud Drive Recommendations

So here are some quick recommendations:

  • First, do not treat your cloud drive as one huge dumping ground. Create folders and try to force a little organization on yourself.
  • If you save a file to the cloud in order to work on it from another computer, quit the application or close the file on the first computer after you have saved the file to the cloud drive.
  • Make sure you have a local copy of important files in your documents folder – not just the replicated cloud folder on your computer. Interesting things sometimes happen when cloud files get updated or deleted from another computer. When you come back to the computer where you first created a file, you could be in for a nasty surprise.
  • If you cannot get a cloud folder on your computer to update, trying quitting the cloud application or rebooting your system.

Dropbox and Amazon appear to be the most reliable solutions with only occasional delays. Google isn’t far behind, and I can’t imagine that Microsoft won’t work hard to improve Skydrive – the company’s subscription model depends on it.

Even so, I have no plans to throw away my USB thumb drives.

Via Readwrite

Dropbox vs. Google Drive vs. Amazon vs. Skydrive: Which One Is Fastest?

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Amazon Appstore launches in China, continues its world tour

Amazon let its world domination plans be known last month when it asked developers to start submitting apps to line its virtual displays in more countries.

Amazon Appstore launches in China

While China was notably absent from immediate expansion plans, Amazon launched its Appstore there during the weekend, opening the doors to one of the biggest mobile device markets. As Reuters notes, the Google Play store is available in China, but only serves up free material, whereas Amazon’s Appstore has a selection of both free and paid software available for users. While the company launched its e-book store and e-reader apps in China last December, devices are still waiting for their ticket over. Now, with the release of the Appstore, we suspect it’s only a matter of time before the Kindle  and Fire ranges make fashionably late appearances.

Amazon Appstore launches in China, continues its world tour

Amazon Appstore launches in China, continues its world tour

Amazon let its world domination plans be known last month when it asked developers to start submitting apps to line its virtual displays in more countries.

Amazon Appstore launches in China

While China was notably absent from immediate expansion plans, Amazon launched its Appstore there during the weekend, opening the doors to one of the biggest mobile device markets. As Reuters notes, the Google Play store is available in China, but only serves up free material, whereas Amazon’s Appstore has a selection of both free and paid software available for users. While the company launched its e-book store and e-reader apps in China last December, devices are still waiting for their ticket over. Now, with the release of the Appstore, we suspect it’s only a matter of time before the Kindle  and Fire ranges make fashionably late appearances.

Amazon Appstore launches in China, continues its world tour

Unannounced Acer Iconia W3 8-inch tablet leaks on Amazon, priced at $380

Acer’s Iconia W3 tablet hasn’t been formally announced, but that hasn’t stopped Amazon from giving the TBA product a shiny new home on its website.

Acer Iconia W3

The page appears to be a bit incomplete, with the summary listing an “1.5 GHz Apple A4″ in the processor field, which we can’t imagine is correct. The product description below might be a bit more on point, though. There you’ll find an Intel Atom Dual-Core Processor Z2760, an 8.1-inch 1280 x 800-pixel CrystalBrite LCD display, integrated graphics with 64MB of memory, 32 gigs of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, 2-megapixel front- and rear-facing cameras, ane a two-cell 3,500mAh battery, keeping the Windows 8 tab powered for up to 8 hours. There’s no word on when the 1.1-pound slate is set to ship (or when it’ll make an official debut, for that matter), but assuming the Amazon web producers have managed to input pricing info correctly, you’ll be able to pick one up for $380 sometime in the future.

[Thanks, Jake]

Unannounced Acer Iconia W3 8-inch tablet leaks on Amazon, priced at $380

Kindle iOS app gets a slew of new features for the blind and visually impaired

The latest upgrade to the iPhone and iPad version of Amazon’s Kindle reading app brings a bunch of new features aimed at blind and visually impaired users.Kindle iOS app

At the top of the list is the ability to read aloud 1.8 million Kindle Store titles, with help from Apple’s VoiceOver technology. The update also brings better library and book navigation and search, as well as features like notes, highlights, bookmarks, font size, background color and brightness. Standard Kindle features like X-Ray, End Actions and sharing via Facebook and Twitter are also made more accessible through the update. Amazon’s promised a similar update for non-iOS versions of the app at some point in the future — in the meantime, a full list of new features can be found in a press release after the break. Continue reading

Android Version Of BBC’s iPlayer Radio App Hits Google Play At Last, Heading To Amazon App Store Soon

The U.K.’s BBC has launched an Android version of its iPlayer Radio app which lets U.K. users listen to BBC radio stations live or catch up on scheduled programmes they missed. Confirming that the app is now available for download on Google’s Play Store in a tweet this morning, the…