Wuala is an online backup service run by digital storage company LaCie. Like many companies that let you safely upload data from your computer to the cloud for safe keeping, Wuala has a freemium model. You can store 1GB of data online for free, but if you need mroe space you have to pay, with plans starting at $29 per year for 10GB. In addition to backing up your data online, Wuala also lets you access your files from anywhere, and you can even install an app that lets you treat your online storage like a local hard drive.
Now Wuala is also starting to offer mobile apps which let you access your data on smartphones. A free iPhone app is already available, and an Android version is in the works.
I took the iOS app for a spin on my iPod touch, and it’s actually pretty handy. Once you login with your account information, you’re greeted with a few folders for Documents, Music, Photos, Videos, and Favorites. Not only can you browse and download files that are stored online with the app, but you can also use Wuala to play media files or view photos. Unfortunately you have to fully download a file before it will start playing, but Wuala still provides a quick way to access some of your desktop files from your mobile phone.
Once you download a file to play it, it isn’t automatically saved on the device — but you can save any file for offline use by clicking a save button. You can also share links to files via email and export some files for playback in third party apps.
For instance, Wuala detected that I had VLC installed on my iPod touch and allowed me to play MP3 files I’d downloaded in VLC instead of the Wuala player. Unfortunately I also have a couple of other media players (including the default iOS music app) which Wuala didn’t detect.
[itunes link=”http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wuala/id417749289?mt=8&uo=4″ title=”Wuala” text=”Wuala”] is available as a free download from the App Store.