Today we’re going to look at an awesome new hybrid Mac application and web service called CloudApp. It’s completely free, extremely easy to use, and very useful for anyone looking for a better way to share files.
We’ll take a look at the app’s main functionality along with the accompanying web app and rich plugin system.
What is CloudApp?
Both of these apps are free and accomplish basically the same task with a few variations in available features.
Though CloudApp falls behind Droplr in a few areas, it has some tricks up its sleeve and is definitely a worthy opponent. Let’s take a look at the basic functionality.
CloudApp is almost too simple (in a good way) to write about in great detail. To share a file, drag it to your menu bar. That’s just about all there is to it!
Once you drag the file to the icon, the cloud will light up to indicate that the file is uploading. Once the file is finished, the link to share the file automatically appears in your clipboard. Just paste it into an email or chat window and you’re done.
When someone clicks on the link, they are taken to a webpage with the option to download the file.
CloudApp allows you to share just about any kind of file you can think of including images, text, zipped files, bookmarks (drag URL from Safari), audio, video and more.
The Menu Bar
Clicking on the menu bar icon will bring up the CloudApp menu. Here you can see a list of the most recent files you’ve uploaded.
As you can see in the image above, the list contains the names of the files you’ve uploaded along with icons indicating the file type. There’s also a convenient view counter next to each item so you can see how many of your friends have taken a look at the file.
Clicking on any of the list items will take you to that item’s page in your browser.
CloudApp has a special functionality that allows you to share screenshots with zero effort. Simply go under the CloudApp menu and activate “Autoupload Screenshots”
Now whenever you take a screenshot using the normal OS X functionality, it will be automatically uploaded to CloudApp and the link will be copied to your clipboard. When the link is opened in a browser, the user doesn’t even need to download the file but can see the image right in the browser.
The Web Interface
Logging into the CloudApp web interface allows you to see detailed information about all of the files you’ve shared.
Here you can choose to see all the files you’ve uploaded or filter them by file type. For instance, in the image above, I’ve chosen to just see my shared bookmarks. To keep this interface clean, you can also choose to delete any files that you don’t need anymore.
The coolest feature that CloudApp has over Droplr is the ability to install official and third party plugins to extend CloudApp’s functionality across a wider range of apps. These plugins, called Raindrops, are accessible on the Cloud App website and are free to downloaded.
As you can see, there are already a number of helpful Raindrops that do everything from grabbing your Photoshop canvas to shortening the current URL in your browser.
Pros and Cons
CloudApp is mindblowingly great for a completely free app and web service combination. It makes sharing files effortless and has never crashed or frozen on me a single time. If you want a better way to share files, you should definitely download CloudApp and give it a shot.
That being said, it’s impossible for me to not compare CloudApp to Droplr as the two apps are just so incredibly similar. CloudApp beats Droplr both with its plugin system (Droplr’s is planned but not launched) and with its ad free sharing pages, but falls short in other areas.
For instance, with Droplr, I can select some text and drag it straight to the menu bar (or hit a shortcut). With CloudApp, you can only share a text file, not the text itself directly. Droplr goes all out with this functionality and even allows you to share snippets of code that are fully-selectable right in the browser complete with syntax highlighting.
Finally, Droplr has seamless integration with the main place you’re likely to share things: Twitter. After uploading something, you can instantly hit a button and have it pop up in Tweetie or your favorite Twitter app.
To sum up, CloudApp is a great application that allows you to swiftly share almost any file with a quick drag to your Mac’s menu bar. Despite a few noticeably lacking features, it’s ease of use and unique plugin system make it a must-try application for every Mac user.
Leave a comment below and let us know what you think of CloudApp. Be sure to explain how you think it stacks up to competitors like Droplr or any other similar apps that you’ve found.
CloudApp is an excellent app that makes it easy to share almost any type of file. Simply drag the file to the menu bar icon and a url to share will be automatically copied to your clipboard. It's robust plugin system makes it a decent competitor to Droplr but it falls short in areas like direct text uploading, syntax highlighting and Twitter integration.8