Apps - In Use
Remote media access seems to be high on the list of things people like to do with private clouds...or at least the folks making these products think so. So I tried playing/viewing music, video and image files using the iPad and Android apps. As near as I could tell, the two apps have the same look, feel and functions. The main difference is that the Android app throws up a selection of different players for each media type. The iPad app, just opens the file...if it can.
In Figure 5, I browsed to a music file and played it on the iPad app. Nothing fancy here, no album art or spiffy graphics.
Figure 5: iPad app playing music
Figure 6 shows the same file played on the Android app using the native music player.
Figure 6: Android app playing music file
Figure 7 shows a 720p Quicktime file playing. The iPad was connected to an otherwise idle 802.11n network with a strong signal, so I didn't experience any glitches. Once the WD 2go cloud establishes the connection, traffic appears to flow directly between the WD NAS and file-access device. Unlike Pogoplug, there are no trancoding options offered.
Figure 7: iPad app playing Quicktime video
Figure 8 shows what viewing a JPG image looks like. The iPad app offers a no-frills viewer with no slideshow features. Oddly, the Android app does include a slideshow feature. It lets you control page timing and transitions, however.
Figure 8: iPad app viewing picture
If you want fancier picture viewing features on iOS, you need to download the WD Photos app. Figure 9 shows the fancier interface with different sorting options plus search and date filter features for navigating large photo collections.
Figure 9: WD Photos iPad app viewing picture
When viewing a photo, share options include email, assigning to a Contact, adding to the Camera Roll and uploading to Facebook. Slideshow settings include timing and four transition types.
If you want to upload a photo, you tap the little camera icon highlighted in Figure 10.
Figure 10: WD Photos picture upload icon
Tapping the icon presents options of taking a photo/video before uploading or choosing from your iPad store. Figure 11 shows upload file selection with two files selected.
Figure 11: WD Photos picture upload file selection
I didn't like that you were forced to enable Location Services in order to upload pictures. It's nobody's business where my photos are taken. Especially when I pay for a private cloud.