Let's be honest: the cloud features bundled with hard drives tend to suck. They're seldom more than nice freebies that you ignore while you set up Dropbox, Google Drive or another more sophisticated option. However, WD (aka Western Digital) might give you an incentive to try its in-house offering. It's launching My Cloud OS 3, a platform that gives connected hard drives (including network-attached storage) some of the features you take for granted on dedicated online services. It'll automatically sync not just between PCs, but from the camera rolls of your mobile devices. You'll have web- and app-based access to your storage, as well. True, you can find this kind of syncing elsewhere, but this gives you an alternative that won't leave you feeling pangs of regret... so long as you're using WD storage, at least.
The platform depends on having the right hardware and software, but you don't have to wait long for that. WD has already introduced an updated version of its dual-drive My Cloud Mirror that has My Cloud OS 3's perks, and the My Cloud Albums app for Android and iOS will help you share photos when it arrives in late September. The real question is whether or not WD's upgrade is enough to get your attention. After all, WD's arch-rival Seagate is shuttering its Wuala cloud service in the face of stiff competition from the likes of Dropbox and Google. Even though WD is doing a lot to keep its personal cloud option up to date, you may be happy syncing through a service you already use.