CloudApp Review (Mac OS X)Written by John Thompson on April 30, 2011 · Filed under Review, Software
We’re slowly transitioning in to a more cloud orientated computing world, where our files are stored on Dropbox, our documents managed in Google Docs and our social lives managed on Facebook (or something along those lines). However, one very common scenario for me is the frustration of wanting to quickly share a file with someone over IM, only to find that their client doesn’t support the transfer protocol, or that they are using Facebook chat and can’t accept incoming files.
Sure, you could put a file in your shared Dropbox folder and copy the URL, but it isn’t very seamless. CloudApp takes a different, far simpler approach to file sharing on the net. You can simply take a file on your hard drive, drag it on to the icon in the menu bar, et voilà! The URL to the file is put in your clipboard ready to share. Simple huh?
Although it lives in your menu bar, CloudApp is fairly versatile and packs some useful features to make sharing files from the cloud ridiculously easy. Whenever you drag a file in to the icon (for free users, there is a file size limit of 25mb and 10 uploads per day), the middle loses its black fill and turns in to a mini progress bar as your file uploads. Once the file has been uploaded, it will have a little think before glowing to tell you that the file you uploaded is now online and the URL copied to your clipboard.
From there, you can go in to any application that you’re using, post the URL to the file which is already in your clipboard in to the conversation or email and the person at the other end of the line can view the file! It’s simple, seamless and a great time saver.
To use CloudApp you need to have a registered account with the service. A basic account is completely free and there are no severe restrictions on what you can do, just a limit of 10 uploads per day, with a maximum size of 25mb per upload. For a paid account, you can upload an unlimited amount every day with a maximum file size of 250mb per upload. A paid account costs $5 for an individual month, but you can purchase 6 months for $25 at a time or a year for $45.
There have been a few privacy concerns about CloudApp when the ‘public’ option is selected for uploads. You can choose for the URL given to you after the upload to be ‘public’ or ‘private’. The private URL looks infinitely more complex, such as http://cl.ly/3N0J3h002g3Y2C2i2a2Q, whereas the public URL is something similar to http://cl.ly/213f. As the public URL is shorter, and can be easily changed, there have been concerns that your files could theoretically be viewed by someone typing in random links. However, if you’d rather keep things close to home then the private option is selected by default and should be kept that way.
CloudApp is definitely one of the most useful tools that I have come across since the introduction of Dropbox and I am already struggling to use other computers without the application installed, as it’s just so convenient. If you want to try it out for yourself, visit getcloudapp.com to sign up!