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Backblaze Launches Android App

Backblaze, provider of unlimited online backup for $5 a month, have launched an app for their service on the Android platform.

The app is free and available to download now from the Google Play store. The app is designed to allow users to view all the data that they have stored with Backblaze. Users can then view the data or, if they wish, copy it over to their device.

Although the app allows copying of data, it doesn’t actually download the data entirely until asked to. Also, it is purely designed to view what is already stored. The app won’t copy any of the device’s data onto Backblaze.

As long as the device has compatible apps, users will be able to view all their data – browse a PDF, watch an MP4 or preview a Microsoft Word document.

However, users with older Android devices may find that the app is not compatible with their device. In technical terms, those on any version earlier than Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich will not have a suitable device. If this is the case, the Google Play store should notify as such and not let the app be downloaded.

There are also limits on what data can be viewed, with a 30MB restriction. As such, any file that exceeds this limit will not be able to be viewed on the Android device. This limit is likely in place to prevent streaming of video files and to keep Backblaze’s bandwidth lower, but some users may find it a frustration.

All communication between the Android device and the Backblaze service is carried out through HTTPS.

Backblaze released an iOS app back in 2013. Although the service is primarily for personal computer backup (as noted by the lack of actual mobile device backup), the creation of apps is a move likely made to position the company closer to their competitors.

Backblaze’s CEO Gleb Budman noted that many of their customers use multiple cloud services. He even admitted that he uses Dropbox, Google Drive and iCloud, noting that these provide “great functionality” for some files. However, he pointed out that “none of these services have all of the files from your computers and external drives”.

Services like Dropbox require users to plan ahead and store their data in a specific folder so that it can be accessed on the go. With Backblaze, however, everything stored on the computer and external drive is available without the need for marking it as so beforehand.

With the cloud space getting more and more competitive by the day, it may be likely that Backblaze could expand their services in the future to compete with larger providers. The lack of Android device backup and file size limit could prove a turn off for some users who seek a cloud provider that can offer the kitchen sink.

At the moment, Backblaze is only available for download on iOS and Android. It’s unknown if Windows Phone or Blackberry versions will follow. Further information on the service can be found on the official {{|Backblaze website}}.


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