Watch out, Google. Kloudless is trying to stir up the tech world with their new, free extension for Chrome. You can now store your email attachments to a handful of online cloud hosting services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Box, as well as attaching files to your email using these services directly, without the need for downloading to your computer. cloud Kloudless

For now, the service only works with Gmail, but plans are in the works to integrate Kloudless with Outlook in the near future.

The Cloud: Solving The File Size Issue

Online email providers are realizing the benefits of the cloud. One of the benefits: allowing users to attach large-sized files that simply weren't possible in the past. Goodbye, zipping documents. Right now, you are able to attach files right from Google Drive, negating the need to bring it to your computer's hard drive first. Outlook does have this feature, with their SkyDrive service, and Yahoo has joined forces with Dropbox to allow attachments of any size. If these other email providers offer a similar service, what's the point of creating Kloudless anyway?

Kloudless: Forcing Them All To Get Along

What if you want to attach a file contained in SkyDrive to your business Gmail account? Not going to happen. The same goes for attaching a file contained in your Drive account to your Outlook account. It must still be downloaded to your machine in order to make it happen. There is no cross-service cloud web hosting that works with any brand of account…until now.

Kloudless decided rather than starting an entirely new cloud service, why not create a way to force the existing cloud services to “play nicely with each other.” Since it appears these cloud providers have no intentions to have their services work with each other, Kloudless stepped in to save the day.

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Setup

Starting out is a breeze: simply install the extension to your Chrome browser, give Kloudless access to your Gmail account, and sign into all of the cloud storage accounts you hold. TechCrunch gave the serivce a go, and states that Kloudless does not store your data directly. Instead, it serves to link existing accounts from one service to another, relying on what it calls “bank-grade security” to transfer data.

You can ask Kloudless to copy or transfer certain files automatically. Do you need that spreadsheet your boss created earlier? No problem. As soon as it's saved, Kloudless can make sure it ends up in your Dropbox. Additionally, you can ask the service to remove all attachments larger than 50MB.

Cons

The service sounds wonderful, but are there any drawbacks? Of course. Is there anything out there that doesn't have some sort of drawback associated with it? One problem noted by Jared Newman, a reviewer with Time magazine: the cloud service doesn't display the typical progress bar when a file is in the process of transferring. Instead, a generic loading bar is displayed that doesn't display time to completion whatsoever.

There were some bugs noted, although infrequent, and quite typical for the beta version. There was an error that occurred once when Newman attempted to choose an attachment folder, requiring constant reloading of the dialog box before it finally worked. While he set up his accounts, dialog boxes would overlap “in an unsightly way.”

Overall, Newman was happy with the operation of Kloudless. He found it refreshing that although the storage tool was made for Gmail, you weren't limited to just Google Drive.

Is this the end of brand-specific applications and services? Will the big names now being scrambling to allow integration with other cloud storage services?

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