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Cloud access to important files are easy with applications and services like Dropbox The Unofficial Guide To Dropbox The Unofficial Guide To Dropbox There's more to Dropbox than you might think: you can use it for file sharing, backing up your data, syncing files between computers and even remotely control your computer. Read More , Google Drive How To Organize Your Research With The Power Of Google Drive How To Organize Your Research With The Power Of Google Drive There are certain advantages to using Google Drive for your research work. It's free and available from everywhere of course. Everyone with a Google account has it by default. Tied to your Google account, it... Read More , Apple’s iCloud What iCloud Is & Why It Changes Everything [Mac] What iCloud Is & Why It Changes Everything [Mac] Perhaps the biggest announcement made by Apple at the recent WWDC was that of iCloud, but many people are understandably not sure what it is. Is it a streaming media service? Is it a Dropbox... Read More , or Window’s SkyDrive How To Keep Your Files Synced With SkyDrive In Windows 8.1 How To Keep Your Files Synced With SkyDrive In Windows 8.1 Storing data remotely and syncing them across devices has never been so easy, especially if you're using Windows 8.1. SkyDrive received a significant update, improving its integration with Windows and adding interesting new features. Read More . If you want to access all of your media files and large documents stored directly on your computer, you should check out iOS file streaming app and service, Younity (free).

With Younity there’s no cloud storage limits to think about, and you don’t have to remember to upload a file to the cloud in order to access it. If your computer(s) and iOS devices are on and connected to the internet, Younity provide access to all your files on your computer and it can even stream your movie and song files without having to download those files to your mobile devices.

Getting Set Up

To use Younity you will need to download and install Younity on your iPhone and/or iPad (an Android version is in the works) and install the Windows or OS X client on your computer. You will need to register each of your devices using either your Facebook, Google, or a Younity email account.

When installed the desktop client requires about 30-45 minutes to scan your hard drive for all its supported files. Your files are not uploaded or copied to any server. Entangled Media, the developers of Younity, say they do not have access to your files or your devices. Younity creates an entirely personal cloud for your devices so they can be accessed remotely.

Under preferences in the Younity desktop client, you can also add external hard drives or selected folders in those drives to appear across all your devices. The application also supports password-protected access.

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Scan files

On the Mac, the desktop Younity client appears in your menu bar where you can see the progress of the scan. There’s no other reason I can think of for having the application rest in the menu bar, and unfortunately there’s no preferences setting to remove it. Mac users can use Bartendar An Easy Way To Tidy Up Your Menu Bar With Bartender Beta [Mac] An Easy Way To Tidy Up Your Menu Bar With Bartender Beta [Mac] The menu bar of Mac computers has become, for many power users, nearly as crowded and used as items in the Dock. Besides the default items that appear in the menu bar - including Spotlight,... Read More to move and hide the app.

Younity menu bar

Remote Access and Media Streaming

After Younity has finished scanning your computer your files can be accessed via your iOS apps. What’s useful about Younity is that it doesn’t require users download files to their devices in order to view them. Younity also works over a cellular network if you grant access.

The user interface of Younity divides content into music, videos, photos, and files. The file structure for music includes artists, albums, songs, genres, playlists and podcasts, which is based on how music is listed in your iTunes library.

Younity music

Younity on your mobile device shows all the scanned files on your computer, and thus some content is not as well organized and easy to access. For example, video files are presented in alphabetical order, and the display might include all the video clips that make up an iMovie project or cache movie files. But if you know the name of a movie file you want to see, the alpha order does make it a little easier to locate. Younity also allows you to search for content.

Photos and document files are organized by the folder structure on your computer. Younity will open and provide read-only access to Word, Pages, PDF and other text files. In some cases it may take a minute or so for the files to appear on your device.

Save and Share

For situations when you don’t have internet access Younity does allow for downloading files directly to your device so they can be accessed offline. Downloaded files can also be batch-removed by tapping on the menu icon on the top-right of the app, and then tapping, Remove all local files. Younity also includes file sharing via email, to other iOS apps, your Facebook contacts, and directly with other Younity users.

As a free app and service there’s little reason not to have Younity as part of your digital arsenal, for both local access and when you’re traveling. Let us know what you think of Younity and its file streaming service.

Download: Younity (free)

  1. Brett R
    December 6, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Thanks for this Bakari, interesting for a forgetful person like me. I have been using Spotdox on my iPad to get files from home that I have forgotten through Dropbox but this is useful if you don't want to download the file.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      December 7, 2013 at 2:36 am

      Thanks for the feedback, Brett. Glad you find it useful.

  2. Bakari Chavanu
    December 5, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Kyem, maybe the developers will read your comment here, or you could send it to them directly. I agree, the display of video clips doesn't get as organized as the music content, which I think is based on iTunes structure. So in order to locate videos you will need to do a search. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. Kyem G
    December 5, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    Well I don't know why my last comment is not shown here... Earlier when in college, if I forgot to take any file containing my home work or presentation, I called up my mom to turn on my pc at home and used Team Viewer to show my home work and got my back saved. Obviously I used my iPad for team viewer to show files to skip the user id n password request. Well I could just show the file as the iPad app just supports viewing n no file sharing...
    But now, even in on a big event, and if I forget to take my file, my file is just a ring away to my mother ;) The only thing that disappointed me here is that the selective distribution of videos, music etc are not working properly as I've got a seperate drive for videos and I had some videos in the desktop which were recently downloaded. Well I found the desktop videos in the 'file' section. And also the drives are not arranged... The files of my C:\ was just left scattered in the iPad... Hope they are fixed in later updates...

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