Hands-on with Amazon's long-overdue Cloud Drive Photos app revamp

amazon cloud photos

With Android's built-in automated photo backups and a slew of services like Dropbox and OneDrive offering similar image-saving features, it's easy to forget just how many options there are out there.

Case in point: Even Amazon offers photo backups to Cloud Drive through a dedicated Android app first introduced in late 2012. But Amazon's app hasn't received a lot of attention since its introduction nearly a year and a half ago.


Amazon Cloud Drive Photos has a refreshed UI.

Until now that is. Amazon recently rolled out a major refresh for Cloud Drive Photos (CDP) for Android, featuring a re-designed UI, simpler navigation, photo sorting features, and an upload progress notification bar.

The new app certainly has a nice look while still maintaining the Kindle-esque color scheme. In this iteration, Cloud Drive Photos has done away with text buttons such as "Save to device" and "Send." Instead, you get various cloud icons indicating whether you want to upload or download a photo, or delete it.

The sharing options present in the earlier version of CDP don't appear to be available in this version. So posting a photo to Facebook that's in Cloud Drive, but not on your device, takes a little bit of doing. You'll have to download the photo first and then share it through another app like Android's stock Gallery app.

Amazon CDP also has some weirdness when it comes to displaying videos.

To indicate that you're looking at a video the app displays a cover image, as well as what looks like a play button with the video's length in the lower left corner. That layout would suggest you need to tap on the play button in the lower left to view your video. But nope! To play a video in CDP you just tap anywhere around the center of the video's cover image. Not exactly intuitive, but why be obvious when you can be confusing?

Unlike other cloud services, Amazon doesn't offer any extra storage bonuses for uploading your photos to Cloud Drive. But if Amazon is your preferred online storage service, at least you have a refreshed app for viewing photos.

The new Amazon Cloud Drive Photos is available now in Google Play and Amazon's Appstore.

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