amazon, amazon drive, amazon photos, amazon, microsoft, android

Amazon is set to shut down its cloud-based storage service, Amazon Drive by the end of the year.

Amazon Drive apps on Google Play and the Apple Store will be taken down as early as October 31st.

Amazon, however, stressed that it will continue to allow customers to “safely back up, share, and organize photos and videos with Amazon Photos,” according to an e-mail to customers. But for other files aside from images or videos, users would have to download them.

Photos, Videos Still Available on Amazon Photos

Amazon says photos and videos in Amazon Drive accounts have been automatically saved to Amazon Photos.

It notified users that they ” need to go to the Amazon Drive website and download your files by December 31, 2023.”

Amazon recommends the use of the Amazon Photos desktop app for Windows or macOS to retrieve larger files. Users who currently subscribe to paid Amazon Drive plans can cancel their subscriptions now for a potential refund. Cancellation can be done on the web or through the Android and iOS apps – at least before the apps are removed from the Google Play and App Store, respectively, on October 31.

On the reason why Amazon is shutting Drive after 11 years, the company notes it was fully focusing on efforts in positioning Amazon Photos “to provide customers a dedicated solution for photos and video ‘”storage.” This means Amazon may be setting its sights on competing against Google Photos and Apple’s iCloud Photo Library head on. But the shutdown will definitely leave users accustomed to storing their files on Amazon’s dependable servers disappointed.

Advantage of Amazon Photos for Prime Subscribers

An advantage of Amazon Photos is that customers with a Prime membership can get unlimited photo storage. On the other hand, Prime members are limited to just 5GB of free video storage. If you want to increase your Amazon Photos video storage with a Prime membership, additional storage starts at $1.99/month for 100GB.

With the impending Amazon Drive shut down, users are encouraged to try other cloud storage offerings, such as Microsoft One Drrive, Dropbox, or iCloud Drive (for Apple users).

Amazon launched Amazon Drive as Amazon Cloud Drive in 2011, initially with a pay-as-you-need tiered offering both for Amazon Prime and non-Prime users. An application programming interface (API) was rolled out in November 2014, allowing third-party developers to integrate Amazon Drive into their own apps to save game settings, preferences or other app state data in the cloud.

Unlimited plans for Amazon Drive were introduced in 2015, and then discontinued two years later. Storage became limited to 5 GB for non-photo uploads a short time afterward. Amazon Prime members and Fire Tablet owners, however. Retained the free unlimited photo storage offer.

Competition was seen as a factor behind Amazon Drive’s shut down, especially with cheaper cloud file storage services at present, asuch as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and OneDrive. Amazon Drive’s pricing wasn’t even particularly competitive – the service charged $119 a year for 2 TB.

Google Drive is considered the most popular cloud storage service, followed by iCloud and OneDrive, industry statistics show.

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