FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
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Tue, 9th Jul 2013
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Given the hype surrounding the unveiling of the Mega Android app, we got out best man on the job to give his unbiased view on Kim Dotcom's latest release.

Firstly, to clear the air: yes, Kim Dotcom is in some way involved in Mega. No, that’s not actually relevant, at least not for the purposes of this review. He won’t be mentioned again.

Mega is a browser-based cloud storage service. You sign up, upload your stuff, they look after it for you. The first 50gb are free, you pay beyond that. All pretty straight forward.

The Mega app is, as you’d expect, an app that lets you access this service from your phone or tablet. You can either use it to log in to an existing Mega account, or sign up for a new account via the app.

I’d already made an account through the website so I just had to log in, and it was very easy. When you sign in you’re presented with a list of files that you’ve uploaded.

Tapping a file automatically starts it “downloading to your device”, although it doesn’t seem to actually save the file to your device.

Once you’ve ‘downloaded’ it you get a few options – for a jpg these were to look at it in gallery, attach it to an email, open it in Pixlr Express and so on – but none of these seemed to involve actually saving it to your phone’s memory. Instead it just loads it from the Mega storage.

After I exited the Mega app I couldn’t find the file anywhere on my phone, and could not find a way to put it there.

Maybe that doesn’t matter – after all, I can look at the file, send the file, even edit and resave the file – it shouldn’t matter that I can’t just download the file as is.

But for some reason it bothers me in a way I can’t quite explain. Perhaps it’s because it tells you the file is ‘downloading’ – if so, then where is it?

Maybe my complaint is just a semantic one, or maybe I don’t understand enough about cloud storage apps. But when I tried to rectify this by looking for a help menu, this was sorely absent.

There doesn’t seem to be a help menu anywhere in the app, and the help section of the Mega website just says that you can expect ‘cool custom apps’ in the near future.

It should be noted that the website still says ‘beta’ at the top though, so we can perhaps forgive the odd teething hitch in its early stages.

Overall, the app works. I could get at my previously uploaded data, and do enough with it that it was useful. Uploading more files from a phone is straightforward – just choose the file you want, and hit upload.

If they changed the word ‘downloading’ to ‘loading’ when it loads your files, and perhaps added a help menu either here or on their website, I’d have no complaints at all – and as it is my complaints are pretty minimal.