Amazon sweetens the Prime deal with unlimited photo storage

Amazon's Prime service started life as a way to get 2-day shipping on all your orders for a fixed yearly rate. Since then they've added a lot to the service (and, to be fair, raised the price from $75 to $100/year). There's the Kindle Lending Library (of value only to actual Kindle owners), Prime Instant Video, and Prime Music.

As of yesterday there's one more benefit to the program: Prime Photos. Prime Photos (available only for US Amazon Prime customers for now) is a lot like any of a number of other cloud storage services for photos, but there are two points worth noting. First is that storage for images is unlimited and second is that photos are uploaded full size.

You can install a Cloud Drive app to your phone and have pics you take be uploaded automatically. (You can have videos uploaded automatically as well but it's not clear if they're counted towards your free 5 GB Cloud Drive limit or not. I would assume until we know for sure otherwise that storing video counts against your limited space.) You can also install a Cloud Drive app on your desktop, or use a web-based uploader.

You can view your shots on the web, any of Amazon's Fire Devices or via the Cloud Drive app on your mobile device. (On my Android phone the Cloud Drive app didn't support ChromeCast.) Beyond those devices things seem a little hit or miss. The Amazon Prime Video app on my Playstation 4 would view my Prime Photos, but the Amazon Video channel on my Roku would not.

There's nothing really special about Prime Photos except that its free if you're already a Prime Member. Google also offers unlimited space and they include videos in their deal. Serious photographers will be happy to know that Prime Photos does accept .raw files. Here's a listing of what formats are supported.

That's not all the Amazon Prime news for today though. In the months and years to come your Prime membership might get you free 2-day shipping from online retailers other than Amazon. Re/code posted yesterday about the first such partnership: as announced at the Money20/20 conference, British fashion retailer AllSaints has started offering Amazon Prime members free next day shipping.

The post goes on to mention that Amazon has been spurned by other retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Neiman Marcus, both of which opted to work with Prime competitor ShopRunner. We'll have to wait and see if Amazon can get more retailers on-board.

I'll say as a frequent online shopper and long-time Prime member that shipping costs weigh heavily in my decision of where to shop. I go to Amazon first for just about everything just to take advantage of that free 2-day shipping, and any store that makes a deal like the one AllSaints has made is much more likely to get my business.

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