Apps that let you upload, share and keep your files synced up everywhere are a dime a dozen. Perhaps the most popular alternative is Dropbox, and I don’t know about you but I am not a big fan of it. I don’t have much use for it, so I don’t really feel like setting it up in every one of my devices, it just feels like too much unnecessary work.
That’s why I jumped at the opportunity to review Drops. It’s a much simpler and down to earth cloud app. It also offers unlimited storage and cross-platform support. Interested?
Drops, like most of these file storage types of apps, is based on its web complement, and the Mac app only works as sort of a shortcut between your desktop and the web app. It runs on your menu bar, it’s very easy to setup (even if you don’t have an account with them) and it is quite unintrusive. Think of it as a lightweight alternative to apps like Dropbox, with a few differences.
The service is free with unlimited storage, but the size of each individual file is limited to 10 MB. The premium service is $4.99 dollars per month, and it ups the allowed file size (to 100 MB) as well and gives you a few other privileges like no ads, convenient custom domains, analytics and multiple file uploading. Let’s get a little deeper into how the app works.
On Your Desktop
You can interact with Drops directly via the icon on your menu bar. After you log in and set it up, you can directly drag items into the icon to upload them to the platform. When you do this, a small progress circle will appear indicating the status of the upload. When it’s done, the icon will briefly turn blue and you’ll hear a notification sound.
You can also upload files by using a customizable keyboard shortcut, which will upload whatever is in your clipboard at the time it is used. There is also an option for uploading a screenshot, which will allow you to select a portion of your screen to be immediately uploaded to your files, where you can share it.
The menu bar icon not only works for uploading files. It also holds a few key features that make handling files easier. For example, inside the app there is a section where your most recent files are displayed, they have the title along with a small image depicting the file type, and clicking them will take you to the link where the file is stored.
That’s about everything that the app does, although the real useful part comes from the website.
On the Web
The website where your files are stored, is luckily as simple and easy to understand as the Mac app is. Inside your “Admin” page, all of your uploaded files are neatly displayed with a preview of each one of them, and you also have a few other options to interact with them. You can upload files or “bookmarked text” directly to the site with a little uploader field located above your files. There is also a search bar and a link to access your settings.
Each item is shareable, although you need to change its privacy settings by clicking on the preview. If you make them public, you can set a custom URL for it under the drp.so domain. The web app makes the app compatible with pretty much any device, as you can access your files and upload new ones even in systems that might not have a dedicated Drops app (like the iOS).
I know people get pretty passionate with certain apps, Dropbox being a big one of them. I get why they love it so much for the most part, but I’ve never really gotten the hang of it. I don’t need it a lot, so I haven’t even bothered installing it in all of my devices. Especially because the Mac installation felt a bit confusing and I never completely understood how the app worked. There was something about a folder that the app ran on and I just felt it was unnecessary for me to do all of that.
Drops doesn’t change the fact that I don’t desperately need an app like this, but it does a good job at presenting itself to the user. It’s pretty easy to install and understand, and it doesn’t feel like it is going to slow my computer down or mess with the organization of my folders. The developers claim that (when compared to Dropbox), Drops is more of a quick file uploader, while Dropbox is more based on syncing and backup.
Drops might not replace your current “cloud” app, but if you think you could get some use of an app that lets you to very quickly upload files with just a few clicks and share them with as much ease, then Drops and you might get along just fine. It doesn’t have any impressive features like other similar apps have, it is just a well-made app with only what’s necessary and nothing more. It won’t replace Dropbox, but it’s a quick solution for sharing files easily without much hassle.
What do you think about Drops? Do you use anything similar, like Dropbox, and for what? Share your thoughts in the comments below!