Cloud storage wars: Who’s got the best Android app? [Updated]

Cloud-wars

Since Google Drive was unveiled yesterday, a lot of other tech blogs have focused on comparing Google's new cloud storage service to some of the most popular competitors that already exist. A lot of the talk has been on price per gigabye for paid storage (Google wins that one, hands down), but not a lot is being discussed about the Android apps themselves.

Because this is a blog all about the HTC EVO, I thought it might be interesting to compare the Android apps side-by-side: not necessarily the services themselves, but the experiences they offer to mobile Android users. If you're interested in my results, and who the winner is, check out the table below.

Cloudchart

Click the image above for the full-size chart.

As you can see, when comparing the four biggest players in cloud storage, all have certain strengths and weaknesses. As far as free initial storage space, Dropbox offers the least, with a paltry 2GB, but on the other hand, they also are the most generous with bonus storage that you can earn exclusively by using the mobile app.

Google Drive is more focused on business users, offering the ability to edit and view documents without leaving the app, while SugarSync seems more focused on making your music available to you wherever you are. Only Dropbox and SugarSync offer you the ability to automatically upload photos and videos that you take with your phone, although Google's companion app, Google+, will do this automatically (and it won't take up any room in your Google Drive if you do it that way).

If sharing your files or folders is important to you, all but Google Drive will generate a shareable link, although SugarSync and Dropbox take it one step further by integrating more seamlessly into social networks like Facebook. (Box requires you to copy and paste the link if you want to post it to Facebook.) Google Drive, however, offers some pretty nice collaboration tools.

The winner: SugarSync. Based on the criteria above, SugarSync comes out ahead in 7 out of 9 categories.

The runner-up: Dropbox. This popular service comes in second place, winning in 5 out of 9 categories.

Of course, take this with a grain of salt: different people like different cloud storage services for different reasons. What works for one person might not work for another.

Personally, I've been using SugarSync for the past year to sync most of my personal and work documents, because I find its Android app, PC client, and web interface to be the most robust. I also enjoy the fact that it can keep any file and any folder in sync, rather than only syncing a single special folder. However, I still use Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) for collaborative documents, such as household budget spreadsheets that I share with my partner. For pictures, I use Picasa (there's unlimited, free storage when you upload photos using Google+ or the Picasa desktop client on the PC), and for music, I use Google Play Music.

This set-up works for me: I haven't paid a dime to anyone for extra storage, and I've yet to run up against the storage limits. But this might not work for everyone. So if you want to try these services out for yourself, check out the links below, and be sure to let us know which one you end up using!

Update: Added Dropbox's social network sharing capabilities, which bumped it into second place.

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First place: SugarSync

Qrc-sugarsync
Download: Google Play

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Second place: Dropbox

Qrc-dropbox
Download: Google Play

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Third place: Google Drive

Qrc-googledrive
Download: Google Play

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Fourth place: Box

Qrc-box
Download: Google Play

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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