Upload and Share Files Quickly with Drops

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?

Getting Started

Getting Started

Getting Started

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

Drops

Drops

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.

Features

Web Interface

Web Interface

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

Files on the Web

Files 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).

Competition

Dropbox

Dropbox

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.

There’s also CloudApp and Droplr, which are very similar to Drops in just about every way, with some added integration for other third party apps.

Conclusion

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!


Summary

Drops is a lightweight cloud app that lets you quickly upload and share files right from your menu bar.

9
  • Thomas

    Why would you prefer a menu bar item instead of a simple device in the finder? To me, dropbox is so convenient because it integrates like a device and I don’t have to think about it.
    Also, I think a lot of the usability of apps such as these is in the mobile version. I have set my dropbox app to auto-upload my photos, thus they are readily available on my computer, as a device, whenever I need them, without the hassle of manually copying them.

    • http://www.hanskfroschauer.com Hans K. Froschauer

      I totally agree, and I’m finding it hard to see why the author thinks Dropbox is complicated to set up? Even my computer-illiterate girlfriend managed to get it done just 2 days ago.

      Sending files to others is in my opinion just a minor detail when it comes to using Dropbox. I’m an Art Director and use the 50gb Dropbox-account to have everything from project-files over fonts to even application-settings for fx. Firefox and assets for the CS5.5 Suite in my Dropbox. I can access presentations and other documents on iPhone and iPad, and my download-folder is also in my Dropbox, so it doesn’t matter if I download something at home on my MacBook Pro or at the office on my MacPro, or even on the iPad using the URLDroplet-webapp.

      None of that can be achieved with Drops, so Dropbox doesn’t seem to be the right ‘competition’ to compare it to.

    • sheryl

      I personally don’t think Dropbox is in the same category to Drops/CloudApp/Droplr. Dropbox is for files you want to access on various devices. The others are mainly for sharing. You drag a file to your menubar and it automatically uploads it and adds the url to your clipboard so you can past it in a tweet, fb post, etc. You can share Dropbox files, but that’s not its main use.

  • http://bundlestorm.net Josh

    The main competition is CloudApp and Droplr not Dropbox. A stronger comparison to those services and their features/differences would of been far more helpful than focusing so heavily on the fact you don’t personally get on with Dropbox.

    • Jimmy Falcon

      Agreed. The icon an the name clearly resemble Droplr.

  • Philipp

    Seems to just copy cloudapp, why chould i change? I guess, I shouldn’t ..
    I would recommend to wait with a review of apps like this till they make sth better or more than an already established one.

  • http://www.stefanopadovan.com Stefano Padovan

    Ok,nice but 10mb file upload single file free account?if you go to http://www.wetransfer.com,2 g a day,stay uploaded for 14 days,mail to 20 users the link,you can upload how many files you want up to 2 g a day,no registration,no fee,just trough browser,fast like hell,you get confirmation of upload and download…what else?I don’t belong to the company but fast,big,free and no annoying ragistration and passwords.Cool.better that dropbox and all the others

  • Adam

    This is one of the most bizarre pieces of writing I’ve seen on this site. If you don’t like or use Dropbox, that’s fine. But you spent more time explaining that you don’t even understand it than the actual time it took me to set up on my computer. It’s really not that complicated, and I’m not trying to be mean, but it’s hard to take someone who writes for this site seriously who is confused by Dropbox.

    • http://about.me/jorgerdz Jorge Rodriguez

      I think I’m being a little misquoted here, although it’s probably my fault for not wording it quite right. I tried to make it a point that apps like Drops are a lighter alternative to broader cloud services like Dropbox. I’ve never used Dropbox because I only need to work with one computer, and so having it installed just to try it out always felt unnecessary. It’s not that I don’t understand it, it’s just that I don’t need it; while on the other hand, I have gotten much more use out of apps like Drops.

      • The Slapster

        Then I’d say be more careful about using alternatives as a comparison when they aren’t even really in the same league. The cloud stuff isn’t that new that it should be hard to make realistic match-ups, like others have said – Droplr & CloudApp would have made better examples here.

        That being said, I’m always glad to find out about apps & services I wasn’t aware of before, so thanks for that!

  • Andrew

    This is a strange review.

    I thought at the begining the writer was being ironic but it actually seems he doesn’t like/understand dropbox.It not complicated at all and dropbox is just brilliant, how can you not like it!.
    The main comparators for this app should be droplr and cloud app.

  • JD

    Strange review, strange comparison. Obviously no research.

    Whats the topic? Your confusion about Dropbox?

    Dropbox is quite simple actually. Although its easy to share (public) files with Dropbox, the main Feature is the Sync-function. (to keep all the stuff you need synced on all your devices (Computers, Smartphones, etc.))

    You probably mixed up some informations.

  • i-blis

    It is certainly not an alternative to Dropbox. Rather a clone of Droplr, which itself clones Cloudapp. The review should have focus on comparing features with the laters.

  • Shlomo

    No offense, but someone who thinks the Mac installation of Dropbox is difficult probably should not be writing software reviews.

    • Danny Tam

      +1

      Is this a review of a scathing criticism of Dropbox?

      I have never once responded to an article criticizing an editor for a poor review, but I’m just appalled at how shortsighted and opinionated (there’s a difference from being objective) this review was.

      Simply, wow.

  • http://www.kmikazu.be kMikaZu

    Are you guys serious??? You guys need to double check articles before you go public with it. This is rubbish (besides the fact that I think that someone that doesn’t understand Dropbox, isn’t fit for the job “software-reviewer”), this is a very poor review, with no research at all!!!

  • DanielR

    You can’t understand how to use dropbox = your arse should be fired. I mean the entire concept is in the title:

    Drop, Box.

    You have a Box on your computer (a folder).
    You Drop files into it. Those files are then synced to the cloud.

    Terrible article.

  • Tim

    Wow. I agree with everyone else here. I have a client that has a problem attaching a JPG to an email message because she doesn’t understand how to do it, yet somehow she was able to install and send me files through Dropbox after I sent her an invitation to do it.
    She said, “So all I have to do is put the images in this folder on my computer and you’ll get them?” I said, “Yes”. She has since been telling everyone about it.

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  • http://www.andrewthorp.com/ Andrew Thorp

    The autoupload screenshots with cloudapp has been the one feature that none of the competition has done. I don’t like learning new shortcuts for taking screenshots.

    • Danny Tam

      Droplr does the same thing, and is actually more feature intensive then CloudApp is these days. It even has live preview of your recent uploads upon hover in the menu.

  • Tarrie

    Does anyone else think Apple needs to just add this functionality through iCloud. Do it the simple, Apple way. Make it easy to upload any type of files to the cloud and it will be accessible to all your devices, not just uploading documents through Pages, Numbers etc. I think Apple could do better than Dropbox because I personally think 2GB is not enough and it is too expensive to have the Premium Dropbox (9.99/month for 50GB).

  • http://WebsiteSetupPro.com/ Sridhar Katakam

    Any advantages of using this over Droplr? I have both Droplr and CloudApp running.

    LOL @ comparing Drops to Dropbox.

  • Dan

    1) Dropbox is cake to set-up.
    2) While Dropbox is capable of doing what Drop and others do, I would hardly say it is the competition, especially when Droplr and CloudApp are the clear competitors. Dropbox is an entirely different animal. Backup features alone are fantastic, but it really starts to shine when you use apps that are integrated with it. I have at least 6 apps that I use regularly, but that I would not use at all if it were not for Dropbox integration (e.g. iOS text editing apps, DayOne, 1Password, etc.)
    3) I prefer both Droplr and CloudApp to Drops, though I can’t yet decide between the two and am waiting for Droplr premium accounts to finally make a decision.

    All that said, although I LOVE Dropbox, it is WAY too expensive and if Google finally brings out Google Drive, Dropbox will have to make some big changes to maintain any kind of marketshare. The fact of the matter is, the free 2GB Dropbox account is all 99% of the people out there need to take advantage of app integration, etc. After that, you are just paying way too much for storage.

    But I digress….

  • Dan

    One more thing. GrabBox is a great little Mac app which provides sharing similar to Droplr, CloudApp, etc. while using your Dropbox public folder. I think that many people may find it to be all they need. Again, this is another thing you only really need the free Dropbox account for. Google GrabBox.

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