Effortlessly Share Files with CloudApp

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?

CloudApp is a super simple way to share images, text files, links, music and more. It’s a combination menu bar app and web service very similar in concept to Droplr.

screenshot

The Cloud App Website

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.

Sharing Files

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!

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Simply Drag a File to the Cloud Icon

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.

screenshot

The Download Page

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.

screenshot

The Menu

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.

Sharing Screenshots

CloudApp has a special functionality that allows you to share screenshots with zero effort. Simply go under the CloudApp menu and activate “Autoupload Screenshots”

screenshot

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.

screenshot

Viewing a Screenshot 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.

screenshot

CloudApp Web Interface

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.

Raindrops

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.

screenshot

Raindrops

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.

Conclusion

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.


Summary

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
  • Jack

    Emmmm. I have never tried any of them. I will give a try for file sharing.

    And after looking at the icon, i thought this is TinyGrab. They have the same icon. Once i read Cloudapp could share screen shots, i will give her a try and leave tinygrab away.

    thanks for the review.

  • Erik

    I’ve been using Droplr for awhile and it works great, but Cloudapp looks so damn good and keeps getting talked about. I’m tempted to switch, but its great news Droplr is getting plug-in support.

  • Robin Lundgren

    Best sharing method there is :) (LUNDLUND @ Twitter)

  • Ryan Detzel

    I want my files to stay with me. The problem with these services is once you upload it’s out of your control so what they should really do is allow you to upload to your own S3 account as an option.

    • http://www.coroflot.com/joshuajohnson Joshua Johnson

      If you want your files to stay with you, try Dropbox. It makes both sharing files with others and accessing your files from anywhere extremely easy… and free!

  • Robert

    Who the hell would want to select text then use droplr to share it??

    • inket

      Duh! A developer.

    • http://www.designshack.co.uk Joshua Johnson

      Seriously, as a developer it’s super handy to have a tool that lets you quickly share a code snippet. You can answer someone’s request for how to accomplish something in JavaScript and/or CSS or upload your own bit of code that’s giving you problems and ask for some troubleshooting help.

  • http://davetaylormp.com David Taylor

    How does this compare to DropBox? Do I need another file sharing app on my desktop?

  • Ignignokt

    You forgot to mention the Keyboard shortcut for CloudApp. ⌃⌥⌘U uploads the file/URL/song/screenshot. Much more convenient than dragging.

  • http://meerzography.wordpress.com meerzography

    My favorite! coolest app ever!

  • http://connorcrosby.me Connor Crosby

    I love this app, it is so easy to use!

  • http://abdusfauzi.com xun

    tried and did my personal review too! so far, the best sharing services and app i ever used. and it is free!

    Review: http://abdusfauzi.com/cloudapp-share-files-fast.html

  • Fernando

    I tried Droplr and ClouApp for a few days, and my selection was Droplr because it has the Twitter integration and you can get your recent uploads more fast than CloudApp.
    On the other hand CloudApp has a better web Interface and i think that they don’t put ads on your uploads (images for example) but Droplr yes. Look the diference:

    Droplr: http://drp.ly/1dNm1n
    CloudApp: http://cl.ly/3968408e4a085e0c5272

    Either do your job perfectly…
    Regards!!!

    • http://deliciousroom.com/ Yaro

      Err, you’re wrong.

      That Cloud link is private… normal links has 4 characters, and you should read this:

      http://cl.ly/1418

  • Lucas C

    Could app rulez!! Nice article!

  • checkyoulater

    Cloud app is awesome….i can’t remember where i first heard/read about it but ever since them i found that they’re a really easy way to share files…quite “idiot” proof for the less net savvy. although similar functionality can be done through dropbox (which is another unbelievable app/sharing tool) nothing is quite as simple as cloudapp. it’s the perfect no fuss sharing solution!

  • TXCiclista

    I’m a bit concerned about the fact that the domain is Libyan, so probably not a good idea to share anything sensitive, since it is completely at the mercy of the Libyan government should they decide to take a peek.

  • http://www.originell.org origiNell

    You forgot to mention to huge plus with cloudapp: there are api wrappers for objc, python, php, perl and ruby! :D (see the Support Page ;))

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  • Matt

    It seems like the public links are VERY public. I just tried adding random strings of three and four characters to cl.ly/ and was basically browsing through other people’s uploads. I guess it’s no worse than using twitpic or ge.tt or something, but it’s not at all clear that any person or bot can access both your public and “private” files.

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