These days it’s increasingly common to spread your data across multiple cloud-storage providers, either to try and maximise the free storage you can use or to keep different types of data completely separate from each other. You’ll need separate desktop tools to keep each cloud storage base in sync, but even allowing for that, sometimes it might be useful to be able to browse all your cloud storage from a single, convenient app.
This is the premise behind RainbowDrive. Currently available for Windows 8, iPad and Android, the app currently supports Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive across all three platforms, while version 2.0.0 adds Box support in beta for Windows 8 users, with other platforms presumably to follow.
You simply fire up the app, then connect to each of your services in turn – RainbowDrive supports multiple logins to the same cloud storage provider too, although only three total accounts are available to free users in the iPad and Android releases (you can, however, gain a fourth account by sharing the app on Facebook).
Once connected, RainbowDrive displays your total storage as an amalgamated whole, sorting content by type (you can opt to view your content by separate cloud providers). It allows you to both download and upload files from and to your storage, play back and view media, search across all your storage for elusive files plus use your mobile’s share functions to distribute links to your files via various social media as well as email. In other words, it attempts to roll all the functionality you find in each storage provider’s native app into one, convenient central spot.
It’s a great premise, but the execution leaves a little to be desired. On Windows 8 a crash left the app behaving a little erratically – we also don’t like the fact you have to start from scratch every time the app is updated as your previous configuration is wiped out. On the iPad, we found it struggled to sync our 25GB SkyDrive account, even though it was fine with smaller accounts. Despite these glitches, however, RainbowDrive is still worth trying - particularly if you're desperate to cut back on the number of mobile apps you need.
The idea is a good one, but erratic performance and narrow cloud provider support means RainbowDrive still has some way to go before it starts knocking on the door of greatness.