Best cloud storage apps for iPhone and iPad: Dropbox, Copy, Box, and more!

Best cloud storage apps for iPhone and iPad: Dropbox, Copy, Box, and more!

The best cloud storage apps for iPhone and iPad to help you access your files anywhere, collaborate with work groups, and stream your media more conveniently than ever!

Looking for the best iPhone apps and best iPad apps to help you store and access your files from anywhere? Cloud storage services not only keep us in sync and let us access our files wherever we are, whenever we need them, but they can be a great way to backup, share, and collaborate as well. They can even help free up precious local storage on our iPhones and iPads. There are a lot of great cloud storage options to choose from, and almost all of them have apps on the App Store. More importantly, which cloud storage apps are the absolute best?

Dropbox

Best cloud storage apps for iPhone and iPad: Dropbox

Dropbox is available for iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, and many other platforms. You get 2 GB for free and can earn up to 500 MB for each referral you get up to 18 GB. Dropbox also offers paid plans that start at $9.99 a month for 1 TB and go all the way up to enterprise levels. Dropbox acts as a folder on Windows and Mac, and an app on iOS, syncs everything between your devices, and stores backups - with versioning! - on Dropbox.com. You can also use the Dropbox app to upload all your images for backup and storage. There's no built in document editing or collaboration, but Dropbox has a great API (application programming interface) which means lots of iOS and Mac developers have integrated it into other apps.

If you need a cross-platform option that's widely supported by third party developers and has great versioning support, get Dropbox.

Google Drive

Best cloud storage apps for iPhone and iPad: Google Drive

Google Drive ties into all other Google products including Google Docs. This means you can not only access and collaborate on all your documents and spreadsheets from any browser, but from the iOS app as well. Google Drive also supports several file types such as Photoshop, Illustrator, several video formats, and more. Since it's Google, search is really well implemented. Storage space is among the most affordable. You get 15 GB for free, 100 GB of starts at $5 a month, and additional plans go up from there. Collaboration is the killer feature, though third-party app support is not as robust as Dropbox.

If you want to be able to collaborate on documents in the cloud, with outstanding search, and reasonable prices, get Google Drive.

Copy

Best cloud storage apps for iPhone and iPad: Copy

Copy by Barracuda may not have been around for as long as services such as Dropbox, but their offers are extremely competitive. Users of Copy get 15 GB storage for free, forever. Copy can also move all your files from another service automatically which makes the transition simple. Moving up to 2 GB in files from another service will cost you nothing. One of the most things about Copy is their approach to share files. Instead of a 4 GB shared folder being counted against everyone in the group, Copy 'splits the bill' since technically it's only hosted once. Copy also features AES-256-SHA encryption so you can rest assured your files are safe.

If you're looking for a dependable cloud storage service and share a lot of files, you may find you'll save a lot more space with Copy due to how they allocated shared storage.

Cubby

Best cloud storage apps for iPhone and iPad: Cubby

Cubby is a cloud storage offering my LogMeIn. For free you get 5 GB of storage and can access your files on iPhone, iPad, and on the web. Paid plans are reasonable and currently start at $3.99 for 100 GB of storage. Cubby also offers direct sync between computers on an unlimited number of computers. Those using Cubby on a business level can also monitor activity on Cubby and who shares what.

If you're looking for a corporate or workgroup solution at a reasonable price, Cubby is worth a good look.

OneDrive

Best cloud storage apps for iPhone and iPad: OneDrive

OneDrive, formerly known as SkyDrive, is Microsoft's own cloud storage service that ties into Microsoft Office Online and the full desktop versions of Microsoft Office. You get 15 GB to start you off for free — existing Office 365 users get 1 TB free — and can upgrade to additional storage for a monthly or yearly subscription. Obviously, it has the best support for Microsoft products, which is important in business. Third party developer support is growing but still isn't great.

If you are already an Office 365 subscriber, the 1 TB of free storage OneDrive gives you makes it a no brainer.

SugarSync

Best cloud storage apps for iPhone and iPad: SugarSync

In addition to the typical folder sync and backup, SugarSync lets you upload or sync through email, which is a feature no other services currently support. SugarSync also offers a Microsoft Outlook plugin which makes it easy to upload and save attachments and documents. While there are no free plans for SugarSync, $7.50 a month gets you 60 GB of storage, and higher options remain reasonable.

If backup is of special concern, or you need to upload via email, or you want Outlook specific storage, check out SugarSync.

Box

Best cloud storage apps for iPhone and iPad: Box

Box works as both a cloud storage service and a collaboration tool for workgroups. For personal use, Box offers the typical features you'd expect. For business users, Box features secure file transfer, marking up documents, and notes. This means work projects can be fully accessible across a group of users who can see any edits or notes left for them. A free personal account gets you 10 GB of storage. Individuals and businesses can get additional storage for a yearly or monthly cost.

If you need a business-centric collaboration features, Box is one of the best.

Your vote for best cloud storage app for iPhone and iPad?

Do you use any of the above cloud storage apps on your iPhone or iPad? Why did you choose the one you did and why does it fit into your workflow better than other available services? And as always, if we missed something great, be sure to let us know that too in the comments!

Note: Originally published August 2013. Updated May 2014.

Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Best cloud storage apps for iPhone and iPad: Dropbox, Copy, Box, and more!

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Call me a geek but I use ownCloud. For the uninitiated its a cloud storage system that you host yourself works on all platforms and since you host it you have complete control over your data! Yes the ownCloud app needs integration into apps like 1Password etc but in this day and age I refuse to give my data to another company to host. Come on app developers give ownCloud some love and give it the same integration you give Dropbox.

I agree, the new cloud storage service Copy is a really great one! I can highly recommend it. It provides great service through simple but very functional interface as well as an app for desktop and apps for Android and iOS systems. It also gives now everyone 20 Gb free storage space through a referral link.
If you would like to try this service and get 20 Gb free cloud storage space, you can register through the link:
https://copy.com?r=wK6EjL

After looking at the various options, I recently went with Bitcasa. I was really attracted to the $99/year for "infinite" storage. A lot of options want to charge you a lot more for a lot less storage. Dropbox alone wants to charge the same amount for only 100 GB. I am still in the honeymoon phase with Bitcasa, but so far everything seems to work just fine. They have Mac and Windows integration as well as iOS, Andriod, and Windows Mobile apps.

i took advantage of early offers from Skydrive and Box.net. when they were first released skydrive were offering 25gb for free and box.net were offering 50gb for life for free. also had a galaxy s4 and took advantage of dropbox 50gb for free for 2 years!!! so i think im pretty much sorted for cloud storage

I got the 50gig for life with Box as well.
I use Dropbox more though as the Box app for ios really sucks

Considering it doesn't have nearly the support that these other guys have, I don't think at this point it deserves the title of a "best app" ;)

I use Dropbox to store my work files (nothing highly confidential, just notes and code backups mainly), and SkyDrive for personal files (vacation photos, videos, game saves, music, etc.). I have 2 factor authentication setup on both with the Google Authenticator; so I feel pretty safe with them. I do use iCloud as well, for anything I create with iWork on my iPad (usually trust this one with more confidential, albeit temporary, files).

Honestly, I don't care that much about integration with my apps, though. I'm fine with fewer apps having access to my stuff, and just sending copies of the files back and forth if I need to back them up. Less fingers in the pot, plus less lag when I open files. The iWork files, for example, take several seconds to load due to syncing with iCloud. That doesn't sound like a lot, but it "feels" like a lot when you are in a hurry.

You forgot Cubby. We moved all of our Dropbox users to Cubby several months ago. More flexibility on the desktop, and much better price per user. The extra security features are nice, also.

I can't believe you still haven't brought up Copy, https://copy.com?r=FKwEvk (use this link to join and we both get an extra 5GB's of storage, giving you 20GB's for free). I have over 500GB's of free storage now just from referrals. It works exactly the same as Drive or Dropbox. The iOS app is almost a mirror image to the Dropbox app minus one or two very minor differences. Is there a reason you guys haven't written about it yet?

Box.net allows you to rename files from your mobile device which is really really nice. DropBox still won't let me do that on the iphone. :-(

Id recommend "JOLIDRIVE". You can browse and stream from multiple cloud accounts with one app. Really cool.

I use Wuala safe and secure and iCloud.
Also interested in cloud provider with high level encryption, please let me know.

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Skydrive is the best for me, because of the free 25GB offer. Its where keep my backup of all my iPhone pics, and share with the family.

They Have now!!! Since getting the bad news that Sugarsync will no longer offer free accounts (and not honour their current T&Cs for free account holders that built up free storage through referrals), I have been using Copy. Copy are fairly new to consumer level cloud storage and they’ve taken advantage of Sugarsyncs bad attitude by making a grab for a chunk of their customers who will be leaving in droves. I decide to give Copy a try because they give 15GB free right off the bat plus 5GB when you use someone’s referral link. I used a random link from one of the forums and here’s mine if you want to use it so we can both get an extra 5GB https://copy.com?r=IEP9eg. They also have a way to migrate all your folders across but I decided to just delete Sugarsync from my PC (don’t forget to unlink you PC in the web based consul of Sugarsync), do a bit of housekeeping and start from scratch. All I can say is one month on, it’s working great! Take 10 minutes to read through some of the FAQs as they are not big on instruction manuals but it’s all pretty intuitive anyway. Again, here's my referral link https://copy.com?r=IEP9eg if you want to get us both 5GB or you can use any that are offered in forums, just don’t sign up direct on their website because you’ll just get 15GB ;-)

It's disappointing that everybody seems to overlook Copy by Barracuda as a solid cloud storage option. Box has a 250 MB file size limit. You don't get that with Copy. You start with 15 GB of free space and get an additional 5 GB for referring people. When you sign up with a referral link you get an additional 5 GB of space as well. The iPhone and Android apps are very solid as well. I'm including my link if you want to get a head start on space.

https://copy.com/?r=K3EJtS

This article would have been more useful if it talked about upload file size limitation. I have the 50 gb free with box but don't use it due to the file size limitation.

Glad to see you mentioned Copy. Copy is a great cloud storage service. I'm hoping that Copy gains traction and finally puts pressure on Dropbox to make there pricing and free storage more competitive.
Google Drive is also very well priced and I use Google Drive for a lot of my content too. Dropbox integrates well with so many apps which makes it such a strong player, but they are very mean with their free storage and pricey on their paid storage.
Pros and Cons of the 4 services I use.
1. Google Drive - Great price for storage. Good integration with Apps and getting better.
2. Copy - Great free storage offering and referral bonus storage is great. Very little support for Copy through Apps. Priced much better than dropbox for paid storage.
3. Box - 50 gb free through promotion originally. File size limit to 250mb on the free service. App integration is getting better. Ios app is now very nice.
4. Dropbox - Tiny amount of free storage compared to the rest. Expensive compared to the rest. Never adjust their offerings or pricing.
Great integration with so many Apps. Very nice IOS app.

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DropBox takes a beating in forums for low free storage, security issues, and bugs, but it remains very popular, so instead of fighting for a complete switch of platform, we created a free (for now) solution to make sharing DropBox files secure called IronBox Express:

https://app.ironboxexpress.com?r=tvw187

The whole 3rd party app universe for various cloud storage platforms and what you can potentially do with a sync'd cloud storage implementation beyond just storing files is an interesting aspect of this discussion.