Coming this fall, Apple will offer a cloud storage system for all your files. However, the Cupertino company will require a monthly or yearly subscription to access the service, that is assuming 5GB isn’t enough to satiate your ever expanding library of photos, documents, email and more. It’s ideal in many aspects, especially if you’re an iPhone owner since the integration should be seamless and as we already alluded to, 5GB is free to all users. However, a major caveat is that there is a reoccuring fee if you exceed the allotted amount of space and your files are stored on a server located in the nether regions of the webosphere.
Pogoplug, one of the first entrants into consumer based cloud storage, is now pitching a new version of their device, and unlike previous iterations this one ditches the yearly fee. It’s called the Pogoplug Mobile and despite the name, it’s designed to remain at home, wired to your router via an Ethernet connection. Truth be told, the Mobile part really refers to their target audience – in other words smartphone users.
Much like Apple’s iCloud service, Pogoplug is promising to automatically back up all of your photos, music and more. They say this action happens in the background, but since we haven’t got a hands on and our skeptical sensor is tingling, something tells us it won’t be as seamless as they promise. Our skepticism is largely derived from that fact that Apple doesn’t allow apps, such as iTunes or the camera, to interact with 3rd party devices, so we’re really not sure how the backup can happen automatically if you snap a new photo or download a song on your handset. Unless of course their smartphone app can some how suck these from your device’s storage. We reread the press release more thoroughly, and the auto backup feature seems to be only compatible with Android handsets. Sorry iPhone users.
Backup concerns aside, the hardware is a small black box that installs in a few minutes time. Just connect it to your router via Ethernet cord, head to a designated web address and you can access any content (docs, music, movies, etc) connected to it. There is a built-in SD card slot, which is a nice feature for those who want to share their photos with friends, and a USB port for adding a hard drive. With a USB hub you could add additional USB devices, though it’s a bit difficult to tell how well it will play with the Pogoplug Mobile, but our assumptions are it should be a none issue.
At the end of the day the PogoPlug Mobile isn’t a massive evolutionary step over their previous products. Clearly the winners here are Android users since they can automatically backup all of their content acquired on their smartphone, while iPhone users are better off waiting for Apple’s iCloud service to release later this fall.
You can preorder the PogoPlug Mobile for $79.99.