I could write pages and pages of text on how cloud computing brought a revolution to today’s file exchange, as well as the current progress towards the future and all possibilities cloud computing theoretically offers. In practice, we use services like Dropbox, SkyDrive, Box, Drive and others, simply to have a bunch of files synced across computers and mobile devices. And of course, to easily share them with friends, family, or coworkers.
Cloud services appeared at the same time when SSD drives began appearing in notebooks. This made notebooks like MacBook Air extremely light and thin, but very limited in storage. The same trend copied to a PC world, when Windows 8 appeared with all those touch sensitive controls, so now many notebooks are SSD powered come with a touch sensitive screens. Most people like this situation, since after all there are several good solutions for a limited hard drive space. Cloud computing is one of them.
In order to save a hard drive space with cloud services, you need to upload your files using a web interface of that particular cloud service. That’s when things get tricky, since it is hard to navigate those files in a web browser, and plus – most of us use more than one cloud storage solution. Well, perhaps there’s a solution to this.
My Files is an app available in the Mac App Store ($1) which promises to unite all your cloud services into one window, where you can browse and edit your files. To be precise, it allows you to access your files located on a cloud’s server, without having to download a local copy. This seems like the perfect solution to a previously explained problem. You’ve got all you files under your fingers, from several cloud storages, which are not stored locally – thus they don’t occupy any space on your hard drive.
My Files supports numerous cloud storages like Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, SugarSync and Box. A big limitation is that you can only use one account per service, which I really didn’t like. In order to sign-up you’ll go through online authentication process which is a plus since My Files won’t store any of your credentials.
Once you’ve signed-in to several cloud storages, you will be able to browse them just like you’re using the Finder. There’s also a search bar, which unfortunately comes with a very limited function and can search only for an exact file or folder names. In order to use a file you’ll need to download it, and this is very important to know. If you open up a file right within My Files app, for example a Pages document, that document will automatically open once you click on it. Beware that it will be automatically be saved to OS X’s cache, so if you edit and save it, it’s won’t be saved back to your cloud, which I believe will be a big problem for most users. Actually, this can make them lose their valuable work, so I really hope this will be fixed very soon.
There are also many other problems with My Files. For example, you won’t be able to add a new folder with files to a cloud storage simply by drag-and-dropping it. You can still do this, but you’ll need to upload each file using My File’s menus, manually. Finally, I’ve encountered many bugs and constant crashes. Sometimes this app won’t sign me in to my account, and you can’t use My File unless you’re signed into all your accounts at the same time.
In general, this app promised a lot in the beginning, but there are some serious flaws and annoying bugs and sudden crashes which prevent it from being useful.