Friday, May 3, 2013

Kloudless Saves Email Attachments to the Cloud

Even though you can send and receive files by attaching them to email messages, email services are not intended to be used as a medium to transfer files. Sending large files through email is a bad idea, which is why email service providers limit the maximum size of files that could be attached to a message. The ceiling on attachment size currently stands at about 25MB for Gmail. Other providers like Yahoo and Outlook enforce similar restriction on size.

The demand for larger attachments will always be there, so to overcome the technology limitations of email, service providers have started offering alternative ways to send file. Google introduced an option to upload attachments directly to Google Drive in December last year. Users could upload files up to 10GB in size to the Drive storage space provided to each Google account holder, and then send a download link to the file to the recipient. Because this is integrated right into the compose window in Gmail, it is no different that sending regular attachments.

Outlook.com has a similar feature using Microsoft’s own SkyDrive service. Yahoo recently partnered with Dropbox to send attachments without file size limits.

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Sending large files by email is a practically solved problem, but there is still another need that is not yet fulfilled by neither Google nor Microsoft or Yahoo, and that is: a way to save attachments people receive directly to their cloud storage accounts. Another trouble is, email providers offer only a single cloud storage service to handle attachments, usually their own. What if you want to attach files from your Dropbox account in Gmail? This where third-party services comes in, and Kloudless is the latest one to join. You can read a comparison of existing services.

Kloudless is an extension for Google Chrome that lets you save e-mail attachments to online storage services such as Google Drive, Dropbox and Box. It also lets you attach files directly from these services without downloading them to your computer first. Right now, Kloudless works only with Gmail, but support for Microsoft Outlook is on the way.

Setting up Kloudless is simple enough. Once you install the Chrome extension, you must allow the service to access your Gmail account, and then sign into any cloud storage services you use.

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Now when you open an email message attachment, you are offered an option to move or copy the file over to any one of your cloud accounts. You can also attach any file from your cloud accounts when composing a new email or replying to a message.

Kloudless also lets you set up rules to automatically copy or transfer certain files. The rules can be based on the sender, recipient, keywords in subject, file type and file size. The basic service allows you to setup only 10 rules.

Kloudless is free for now, but the CEO plans to start paying plans with premium features starting $3 a month.

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