Editor’s note: The following review is part of Macworld’s GemFest 2010 series. Every day from mid July through August, the Macworld staff will use the Mac Gems blog to briefly cover a favorite free or low-cost program. Visit the Mac Gems homepage for a list of past Mac Gems.
For all the break-neck technological advancements over the last decade, it can still often be surprisingly difficult to share a file, picture, or just some text on the Internet. E-mail services sometimes eat links and code or bounce messages with the smallest of photo attachments. Heck, even Twitter doesn’t natively support sharing anything but 140 characters of plain text. Enter Culturezoo’s Droplr, a dead-simple app and Web service for sharing just about anything.
The first half of Droplr is a small Mac client. In fact, it’s so small, that your only real interface is a menubar icon—you can drop files and photos on it, or click it for options like snapping a screenshot or opening a small window for entering text. You can even use a keyboard shortcut to send a file you selected in the Finder straight up to Droplr. But whatever you decide to share, it is instantly uploaded to the second half of Droplr: the cloud.
When you share something, Droplr uploads it to Droplr’s Web service (cleverly displaying upload progress bar on its menubar icon), then automatically copies a short URL to your clipboard for sharing, like this one: drp.ly/1mCb1W (each user gets 1GB of free sharing storage space). That tiny URL will work great on Twitter and avoid truncation by even the most feeble of e-mail services. Click the “t” button next to the URL, and the Twitter Website or a handful of desktop clients will open with a new tweet pre-populated with the link. For bonus points: if you share code, Droplr will automatically do syntax highlighting.
Droplr does have a couple of drawbacks, however. First, Culturezoo definitely focused on your inner Twitter user—entering your credentials is a (safe) setup requirement. I.e., Culturezoo uses Twitter’s OAuth login process, so Droplr doesn’t actually store your password. But if you don’t use Twitter, you cannot use Droplr, at least not yet.
My other gripe is that, in Droplr’s current and free implementation, there is no way to register with the Web service to manage the stuff you share. If you accidentally upload a file that should’ve stayed private, or a screenshot with personal information you forgot to edit out, there is no way to pull down that particular upload. That said, the stuff you upload with Droplr will remain private between you and Culturezoo unless you share its short URL, so there shouldn’t be too much to worry about.
I’ve seen some services that make it easy to share files, including Dropbox, iDisk, and their many competitors. But I haven’t seen any that are as convenient as Droplr, with its no-signup-required approach and powerful drag-and-drop support and keyboard shortcuts.
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