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In this article I’m going to cover a bit about how cloud file sharing works. No normal human can live alone and being social creatures means that we live and interact with others. We also share things with others, starting from small things like children’s pictures and cooking recipes to something grand like religious beliefs.

The sharing habit doesn’t stop at the real world. File sharing is a common internet activity among web users. There are already many file sharing services out there, but most of them intentionally make the process difficult – at least for free users. Using file sharing services usually means web-only file uploads and hellish file downloads.

But every cloud has a silver lining. I’ve come across a cloud file sharing service called CloudApp that makes the whole process a snap.

Go Into The Clouds for File Sharing

There are two parts to the cloud file sharing service: the web version (accessible from all platforms) and the desktop version (Mac only app). Before you can use the service, you must register first via the web interface.

01 My CloudApp - Register.jpg

After activating the account – by clicking the confirmation link inside the “Activation Instruction” email, you will land inside your account – the web version.


02 My CloudApp - Web Interface.jpg

There are two tools available here: a URL shortening tool and a file uploading tool. But if you are a Mac user, you would want to directly click on the “Tools” link to download the desktop app and plugins.

03 CloudApp » Download.jpg

After all the downloads have finished, you are ready to install CloudApp – the desktop app.

Accessing The Cloud From The Desktop.

The desktop app comes in compressed Zip format. You can unzip it anywhere you want, and run it from there. But if it’s not inside the Applications folder, it will ask you whether you want to move it to the place where all apps go.

04 Cloud - Move to App folder.jpg

CloudApp resides silently in the menu bar, ready for action. So, why don’t you start by checking out the “Getting Started” guide to get yourself familiar with the service.

04b Cloud in Menubar.jpg

Or, you could skip the introduction and go to “Preferences“.

The “General” preferences tab deals with the global hotkey to summon the app, options to activate Growl and the sound, an option to replace clipboard items with uploaded file links, and whether you want to start CloudApp at log in.

05a General Preferences.jpg

The “Account” tab deals with your login data. Fill it with the email address and password that you used when you sign up.

05b Account Preferences.jpg

Next is the “Raindrops” tab. Raindrops is the term used by CloudApp to describe plugins. Their function is to enhance the functionality of the CloudApp desktop app to be able to work with various Mac applications. There are already several Raindrops on the list, but you can add more by downloading the available items from the CloudApp site.

05c Raindrops Preferences.jpg

There is also an “Updates” tab where you can customize the way you want CloudApp to be updated.

05d Updates Preferences.jpg

And the “Support” tab is where you can get more information about this service, submit bug reports and also request more features.

05e Support Preferences.jpg

More Droplets Beyond The Cloud

As mentioned above, you can add more functionalities to CloudApp by adding Raindrops. The process itself is pretty straightforward: you just unzip the downloaded Raindrops and open the extracted files by selecting them and use the keyboard shortcut “Command + O“. Those files will be automatically added to CloudApp.

06 Cloud - Activate Raindrop.jpg

However, you must restart CloudApp to activate the newly added Raindrops.

Armed with CloudApp (desktop version), you can share files easily by dragging and dropping them onto the CloudApp menubar icon.

07 Cloud in Action.jpg

The files will be uploaded to their cloud storage,

11 Screenshot Upload.jpg

And the links of the files location will be added to the clipboard. You can paste the links to email and send them to your friends.

11b Download Link.jpg

But for those without a Mac machine, you still can use CloudApp by accessing the service via the browser and use the web-based uploading tool.

09a Web Upload-1.jpg

To me, CloudApp is a must-have. It might not be as rich-featured as Dropbox, but CloudApp doesn’t clutter my hard drive and provides a quicker way to file sharing.

Have you tried cloud file sharing? Do you use CloudApp or know of other alternatives? Share using the comment below.

Image credit: Tipiro

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