iPads Get Third-Party Cloud Storage Options
Several cloud data storage companies are launching services specifically for use with the Apple iPad.
As the Apple iPad arrives on retail and virtual shelves, so will a spate of
new data storage-related applications.
Online storage and backup services Box.net and Dropbox.com have launched new services that mirror directories on an iPad, adding a copy of each file to cloud storage, where they will be easily recoverable.
Dropbox is a free application that automatically makes available files on one computer-say, a desktop-to multiple mobile and handheld devices via its own cloud storage. All a user's Dropbox folders mirror each other as files are dropped into them, and the additions happen in real time.
The application will become available April 3. Currently, Dropbox offers both a restricted free account with 2GB of storage and a paid premium account. For details, go here.
Box.net's new, free-of-charge file-transfer application (you also need to have a free or premium Box.net account) connects the iPad to a cloud storage account and allows browsing of the files on the screen.
The two-pane layout lists all the files on the left side and a preview of selected ones on the right. Because it's similar in look and feel to most e-mail services, it should be intuitive for most users to use.
The Box.net iPad file-transfer application also enables collaboration, because users can edit and comment on each other's files with permission from the file owner.
SugarSync, which makes a file sync, backup and file sharing service, will introduce its native iPad application in the iPad App Store on April 3. SugarSync synchronizes files and folders between any combination of Macs and Windows PCs and popular smartphones, with all files backed up to the SugarSync cloud.
All data is then instantly available from the SugarSync iPad application, with no tethering or cables required.
FileMaker on April 2 announced the availability of its Bento for iPad in the App Store. The application is based on Bento for iPhone, with enhancements to take advantage of the large iPad screen.
Bento for iPad enables users to manage contacts, track projects and plan events, and can be used by itself or synchronized with Bento 3 for Mac. Go here for more information.