We’ve seen a lot of cloud-based services over the years, but the one thing we’ve learned is that every cloud service has its strengths and its failures. So, heavy users of cloud storage will often find themselves using multiple services, juggling files between each one, and inevitably getting confused as to which service a file may be stored in. Cloud aggregators are rising up to meet this demand, by organizing your clouds into a single interface.
Cloud Indeed is an iOS-based aggregator that seemingly came out of nowhere. It’s developer, named Fang Wang within the app store, has only been making apps since 2014, with Cloud Indeed being one of the earliest apps. Yet with over 2,500 reviews and an average review score of 4.5 / 5, we had to check it out.
About the App
The app is offered through the App Store for both iPhones and iPads, but there is a free version and a $3.99 Pro version. The free version is all but useless since you can only set up a single account. What’s the use of a cloud aggregator with one account? Good question. If you’re interested in this app, ignore the free version and pay the $3.99.
Cloud Indeed doesn’t require any account set up, which makes things nice and easy. Instead, you only need to add the accounts you want with your credentials. Each account can be named independently and files are labeled with the name of the account.
The app supports a variety of file types, with in-app previewers for Microsoft and Open Office formats, PDFs, most image formats, and even compressed zip files. The app even offers a way to designate files for offline access and as favorites.
Currently, Cloud Indeed only supports:
- Google Drive
The biggest oversight when going over the app features is that it’s missing any sense of sharing functionality. There’s no way to share with any interface in iOS with this app. If you need to share files occasionally, you’ll need to keep the official apps installed.
Cloud Indeed’s unique interface is its primary appeal. Fusion Mode, which is enabled by default, collects all files and folders from all the cloud accounts you set up into a single file explorer. If you have folders with the same name across multiple accounts, they will merge into a single folder within the view of Fusion Mode.
Searching, uploading, downloading, and creating folders can all be done with this one interface across any of the services. I liked that multiple files from multiples services could be selected and moved with one batch action.
Fusion Mode can be customized so that you only see certain services, and can also be turned off in the settings.
All of the Music
Cloud Indeed’s music folder is designed for those who have music stored all over the place. The service takes a while to scan your files, but it will eventually find any music files across all of your clouds and collect them in one place.
This would be cool, except that there’s no organization whatsoever for this folder, not even an option to sort by date or name. The files in this folder are sorted only in order of when the service found it and dropped it in. This leaves the music folder looking awfully cluttered and confusing. That said, there is a “manual sort” option that allows you to drag individual songs around, but that’s a horrendously tiresome way to sort a large music collection.
Cloud Indeed offers a little bit of organization through creating playlists, but it’s a pretty basic implementation. You create a playlist, and then manually import the music from your cloud or iTunes collection.
Once you get your playlists set up, the music player works and integrates with the built-in iOS music controls. The only exception is that if you use a password lock on the app, the lock screen music controls will not work. But the music controls in the Control Center will work regardless.
Potentially Cluttered File Explorer
Overall, Fusion Mode works as advertised. But part of the burden of a cloud aggregator is to meet or exceed the user experience of the apps of their hosted cloud services.
Unfortunately, Cloud Indeed is going up against some truly excellent apps from their chosen supported clouds.
I found the file explorer to be frustratingly hard to get used to. The explorer combines files and folders as equal objects with only an alphabetical and date filter as options. What’s worse, there’s no way to select a particular letter, so you’re left scrolling through every single file and folder across all of your cloud services.
The predictable result of combing multiple clouds in one view is a cluttered mess of stuff. The search function helps, and so does favorites, but this need makes the app feel a bit clunky.
Is It Secure?
The app uses the OAuth protocol to get RSA tokens from your cloud service’s authentication portals. It certainly isn’t the most secure standard, but it ensures that Cloud Indeed will not see or store your user credentials, which is good enough.
Cloud Indeed also allows you to set a four-digit PIN code to lock the app in case your device is stolen.
For an independent effort, this cloud aggregator app has an impressive feature array and a decent implementation. Fusion Mode is both useful and works exactly as expected. Adding a cross-cloud music aggregator and player into the mix with full playlist support makes it even better.
But the same file explorer that’s so innovative can be a pain in the butt, and sharing is a glaring hole in an otherwise filled feature set. If you’re okay with a sometimes quirky interface and need a good cloud aggregator for iOS, $3.99 is a great price to pay.
App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cloud-indeed-cloud-manager/id903622239