Amazon launches hand-holding Cloud Drive API

Three years after it was launched, Amazon has announced an API for its Cloud Drive service, but it will not be a developer free-for-all, as the service requires apps to be approved for use.

Amazon has today announced an external REST API for its cloud storage service, Cloud Drive, but the API arrives with a large caveat: Apps using the API need to be whitelisted by Amazon.

The API itself allows for the usual trio of upload, download, and manipulation of content offered by other cloud storage services, with Amazon promoting 11 apps that have already integrated the API's functionality.

For developers looking to start work with Cloud Drive, the first step will be to apply to have an app whitelisted in order to use the API.

"You need to provide details about your app, whether you need read and/or write access, and the type of content you want to have access to in a customer account such as images, videos, or documents," the Cloud Drive API developer guidelines say.

Whitelisted apps will then be rate limited until the app is approved in an app review.

"You will work closely with the Amazon Cloud Drive product manager assigned to your account," the guidelines state. "As you make progress building your app, you will want to keep your Amazon Cloud Drive contact informed of your progress.

"Your app must be submitted for review before it is placed into production, used at a demo, hackathon, or as an internal tool.

"When your app is submitted for review, we will verify permissions, run a call-pattern analysis, implementation of a back-off strategy, and whether or not your app complies with our Brand Guidelines and App Distribution and Services Agreement."

Amazon said that the "trash" functionality on the API will only move a user's content into the trash area of the user's Cloud Drive account, and is accessible via the Cloud Drive website.

Last week, Amazon announced Echo , a cloud-connected home appliance that responds to a user's vocal commands, and follows the retail giant's failed attempt to enter the smartphone market.