Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Jolicloud, a service that helps you manage all of your cloud-based storage solutions in a single place, has been updated and rebranded today as Jolidrive, supporting additional Web services and allowing users to watch, listen and edit files from a single location.
Jolicloud has ditched its existing mobile apps entirely in favor of a HTML5-only approach. It’s the same user interface as before, only this time the number of integrated services has been increased dramatically.
In the past, Jolicloud only supported four storage solutions (Dropbox, Google Drive, Skydrive and Box) and Facebook. Now, however, the browser-based platform supports 16 social networks and Web services straight out of the gate, including Flickr, Instagram, Youtube, Soundcloud, Instapaper, Readability, Pocket, Google+, Tumblr, Vimeo and Picassa.
The idea is that rather than keeping all of your favourite social networks and web-based services open in a separate browser tab, you can access them all from a single location.
Although Jolidrive uses the same interface as Jolicloud, it’s undergone some drastic changes behind the scenes to support these new services. For starters, almost everything can be accessed or consumed from within the browser window. Unlike before, where clicking on a file would just download it to your computer, Jolidrive is actually a space where users can manage and work with their content.
So once the user has connected a Vimeo account, it’s possible to watch uploaded videos, as well as those produced by friends, without leaving the window. With Instapaper, saved articles can be reviewed and read at anytime. Soundcloud files can be listened to instantaneously. What’s impressive is that Jolidrive wraps all of these together into a consistent interface that never feels jarring or alienating.
Tariq Krim, founder and CEO of Jolicloud, describes Jolidrive as a “reimagination” of online storage.
“Rather than just being storage – where you just keep putting stuff – we wanted to make something really active so it becomes the new workplace,” he told TNW. “I think the cloud has been more about storage, and we want to bring cloud to the next level by saying this is your workspace. This is where you can listen to your music, browse your photos, edit your documents and watch your videos.”
The inclusion of other web-based services such as Instagram, Krim says, is a reflection of what users used to do with files stored locally on their computer. “But the data is not on your computer anymore,” he says pointedly. “It’s in the cloud.”
With all of these storage services collated in a central platform, it makes sense to be able to move them to and from different locations. Being able to drag-and-drop a photo stored on Flickr, for example, to a Dropbox account would help file management significantly.
“It’s not there right now, in the current version, but it’s coming very soon,” Krim said. “You’ll be able to edit photos, edit documents and save them to the service of your choice.”
All Jolicloud users will be shifted across automatically to a Jolidrive account over the next few days. Although some users may miss the iOS and Android apps, Krim hinted to TNW that the company is currently working on native apps for the iPhone and iPad.
In our tests, most file types were supported by Jolidrive. The ability to edit documents saved directly to Google Drive was particularly impressive, although PDFs, Pages documents and .txt files sent us straight back to Dropbox.
It’s not perfect then, but certainly an interesting proposition that could solve the growing need to keep multiple tabs open for our many Web and cloud-based services.
Image Credit: Mark Gunter/AFP/Getty Images
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