Cloud Save: The Chrome Extension That Shouldn’t Be an Extension

By  |  Monday, March 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm

I consider myself optimistic about Google’s vision for completely web-based computing, but it’s not going to happen without an online storage solution that can replace the act of saving files locally.

Cloud Save, a new extension for Google’s Chrome browser (spotted first by DownloadSquad), takes us part way there. The extension adds an option in Chrome’s right click menu that lets you save files directly to online storage services such as Box.net, Flickr and Google Docs. You grant permission for Cloud Save to access each of these services the first time you save to them, and a notification box pops up when your file has saved successfully.

On the most basic level, Cloud Save eliminates a step if you’re trying to move a web file to an online service. If someone sends you a funny picture, for instance, you just Cloud Save it instead of downloading and then uploading. But by skipping that step, Cloud Save also bypasses the need for local storage when saving files from the web. It’s the kind of feature that Google should bake directly into Google’s Chrome OS, the web-based operating system that will launch in notebooks later this year.

Google is still grappling with the issue of saving files in Chrome OS. You’re allowed to save locally, but it’s a rudimentary system meant for temporary storage, and anyway, the idea of storing a file offline just to put it back in the cloud defeats the purpose.

Still, Cloud Save doesn’t solve the whole problem, or even the biggest part of it: Once your data is uploaded, other web services can’t access the data unless they support that specific storage service. So let’s say I want to edit one of my Picasa images in Pixlr. That’s not a problem, because Pixlr allows you to import images from Picasa, Flickr and Facebook. But I’m out of luck if I want to import an image from Box.net or Dropbox.

If Google were to create its own storage service (like the mythical GDrive), I’m sure you’d see support from a lot of web services. At that point, Cloud Save becomes the missing link that lets users save files without local storage. In Google’s ideal world, Cloud Save, or something like it, would be an integral part of the operating system, not a random third-party extension.

 
11 Comments


Read more: , ,

11 Comments For This Post

  1. Jon Says:

    "If someone sends you a funny picture, for instance, you just Cloud Save it instead of downloading and then uploading."

    Do you really not understand how a web browser works?

  2. JaredNewman Says:

    I think I do, but I'm not sure what you're implying. My point was that if you wanted to take an online photo and save it to an online service such as Picasa or Box.net, Cloud Save provides a way to send it directly instead of downloading it to your hard drive and then uploading it back to that service.

  3. The_Heraclitus Says:

    Not really significant. You have to download it locally before you can save it to an online service such as Picasa, etc. Odds are that it IS being saved to the hard drive whether you do a "save as" or not.

  4. @didibus Says:

    Unless its done on there servers, or something even fancier is happening. None the less, it still saves the hassle of saving it yourself, then re-uploading it, then going back and deleting the file.

  5. The_Heraclitus Says:

    Nope. You can't view it in the browser unless it's downloaded to your computer. I think you need to review technically, how you are able to view website content with a PC & browser…

  6. Perot Says:

    The g-drive is here now.
    The syncdocs (http: http://www.syncdocs.com) app in the google Apps store turns Google Docs into an online storage service.

  7. dholyer Says:

    It is nice that Cloud Computing is moving into the personal use. Now only if it would be avalible for a feature that I wrote a paper on last year, a virtual backup service for your digital video shows and movies. It would almost make the web into a world wide PVR like how my Dish HD unit kind of is. I could go into great detail but hear in this comment area it is not liked and would be a hog of space.

    I also like the Google G-drive being added to your virtual storage, since I have use G-mail since 1997.

  8. Cristian Dominguez Says:

    i completely agree

  9. Dudeguy Says:

    Yeah saying “you just Cloud Save it instead of downloading and then uploading.” shows a complete lack of understanding how this works and tosses any of your other tech related articles into question.

    What Cloudsave -actually- does is automate the process of uploading to one of those clouds so you dont have to manually do it yourself. The image is still downloaded and then uploaded.

  10. wwcanoer Says:

    I think Dudeguy is correct. When I "cloudsave" a file, my internet download speed spikes. I have not yet figured out where chrome is storing its temp files to find the local file being created.

    I was looking for something that did not use internet bandwidth while I travel but no luck so far.

  11. Nickie Says:

    How about the CaptureToCloud extension? They don't seem to require any download.