Tag Archives: sharing

Dropbox Links: A New Way to Share Dropbox Files

As the realm of cloud-based file storage grows in popularity, so too does the needs of its users.  The people of Dropbox understand this, and are always adding new features to improve the experience.  (Never heard of Dropbox?  Don’t worry, we here at Techerator have you covered.)  This time around, Dropbox has added a simple, yet worthwhile option to enhance the user file sharing experience, and it’s called sharing links.

Yes you heard right; Dropbox is allowing users to share links now.  Here’s why: Originally, files and folders on Dropbox were shared with others via an internal “share” button.  This means that they were shared and synced only between Dropbox users.  But now with this new share link function, a file or entire folder can be sent out and accessed by anyone who has the proper link.

The Link Sharing Process

The link sharing process begins by logging into one’s Dropbox account through the browser, the file explorer program, or the mobile app.  Select a file or folder for distribution and click the “Share Link” option.

dropbox share link

A pop up box asks for intended recipients and a message to send to them.  Note that this sharing function is not limited to email; Facebook and Twitter sharing are also supported.  Once complete with composing a message, click “Send” to…well, send the link out into the world.

dropbox sharing

dropbox email

Once the recipient clicks the Dropbox link in the sent message, the file or folder that was shared should appear and provide full viewing access regardless if they have a Dropbox account or not.

dropbox view link copy

Features of the Shared Link

A few options exist to the user for viewing/using the shared Dropbox files and folders.  The standard method for file viewing is through the web browser interface.  Photos, videos, and even Microsoft Office documents can be clicked and previewed with little effort.

download files from link
Share the file again (the chain icon thing) or save it to your computer (the cog icon thing)

If the recipient decides they need a shared file beyond browser viewing, Dropbox allows them to either pass the link along (note that each file in a shared folder has its own personal link as well) or to download the file to their local machine.

Conclusion

File sharing no longer has to be difficult.  Thanks to Dropbox links, there’s no more messy file compression, no more large attachments for emails, and most important of all: no more USB thumb drives.  Just link and send it out.

“Batch” is the ultimate mobile photo sharing app for iPhone

In the smart phone era, everyone is an amateur photographer. Equipped with high-def capabilities and nearly bottomless storage, we produce a lot of photos on a daily basis which we’ve opted to share individually on Twitter or in bulk on Facebook. The problem is that sharing full albums with friends requires a bit of effort — downloading to your desktop, uploading to Facebook — why can’t we do it on the go?

Batch is an iPhone app that allows you to easily share large numbers of photos with your friends without needing to make a stop at your computer. Sharing photos from your phone isn’t exactly a game-changer, but Batch is one of the first to offer a way to share many pictures with just a few taps.

Credit: iTunes App Store

The beauty of Batch is its simplicity. A focused design lets you snap pictures, tag friends, and share your albums without any fuss. Friends can leave comments or simply ‘Like’ what they see. Batch allows you to post a link to your albums on Facebook and Twitter for friends to view anywhere. Photos dominate the screen and you can easily flip through pages of your own pictures or albums posted to your feed by friends. Privacy settings are a cinch, letting you make some albums private or share with just a few friends at a time.

The downside? Batch requires a Facebook account for login. But come on, you already have one of those…

Batch keeps your photos safe and your friends updated. If you take a lot of pictures with your iPhone, batch is an absolute must. Photo-sharing apps seem to be the big thing right now, with Instagram and Path making big gains each month, but Batch is the first to perfect the idea of sharing full albums on the go.

Take a boatload of photos, share them with Batch.

Create an Instant Photo Gallery with DropMocks and min.us

I am a cameraSometimes, people like to make things a little more complicated than they need to be. One of those things is creating an online photo gallery.

Most people when they want to post their photos online will turn to Flickr, Picasa, or Facebook. There’s nothing wrong with any of them, but sometimes you just need a quick and dirty way to post your photos online.

And two services, DropMocks and min.us, allow you to do just that. Let’s take a peek at both of them.

DropMocks

DropMocks is incredibly easy to use. Just navigate over to the site, open your computer’s file manager, and then drag and drop your photos into your browser’s window. Depending on the number and size of photos that you dragged and dropped, they can take anywhere from a minute to several minutes to upload.

Uploading files to DropMocks

Once your files have been uploaded, you’re given a URL which you can share with your friends and family.

As for the gallery (called a mock) itself, it’s quick and dirty. But it works. You get a basic carousel. The image you’re currently viewing is in the center of your browser window, and thumbnails appear to the left and right. Click on a thumbnail to bring that photo to the front.

A DropMocks gallery

While you don’t have to sign in to DropMocks, you might want to just so you can manage your mocks. You can sign in using a Google Account, and from there edit your mocks or delete them.

min.us

min.us works a lot like DropMocks. Again, you can just navigate over to the site and drag and drop your photos into your browser window. You can also upload files the old fashioned way using a file selection dialog box. Once your uploads are finished, you’re given a URL to share.

A gallery in minus
A gallery in min.us

The interface is a bit more cluttered than with DropMocks. And instead of the carousel effect you get a slider effect. But people who visit your min.us URL can download all of the images in a gallery in a zip file.

Like DropMocks, you don’t need to set up an account with min.us to use it. However, you might want to do that if you need to manage your galleries.

Managing galleries in minus

On top of that min.us has a number of tools that make it easier to work with the site. There are desktop uploaders for Windows, Mac, and Linux; mobile applications for Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone 7; and Web browser extensions.

minus Android mobile app

If you’re using one of the desktop or mobile uploaders, don’t upload one photo at a time — min.us will create a gallery for each image.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes, you just need a fast and simple way of putting your photos on the Web for your family and friends to see. Both DropMocks and min.us do just that. They’re easy to use and are a very efficient way to get your photos online.

Photo credit: ilco

Move Files Between Your Android Phone and Your Computer Without Wires

No! Not a USB cable!How do you transfer files between your Android-powered phone and your computer?

Maybe you use Dropbox or a similar service. Or, chances are you stick one end of a USB cable into your phone and the other into your computer.  Come on, we’re not talking about an iWhatever here. We’re talking about Android, and there’s a way to ditch the USB cable. All it takes is a wi-fi connection and an app called WebSharing.

WebSharing turns your phone into a web server, which you can access using a browser on your computer. Let’s take a closer look at how it works.

Getting Going

The first thing you’ll need to do is install the WebSharing app. You can find it in the App Market or by scanning one of the QR codes on this page. There are two versions of WebSharing: lite and full. The lite version lets you do basic file management. The full version, which costs $2.99, adds features like multiple file upload, WebDav access, and viewing multimedia files. Give the Lite version a try first — it might be enough for your needs.

Turn on your phone’s wi-fi, then start the WebSharing app. Before you do that, though, add a password.  While WebSharing generates a password for you (and displays it on the app’s home screen), it’s only four characters long and changes each time you start the app.

To add a password, tap the Menu button and then tap Settings to open the Owner Access screen. From there, tap Owner account password. Type a password, then tap OK.

Go back to the main screen and tap Start. WebSharing will display a URL. Just type that in your desktop web browser and, when you’re prompted, enter your password. Then you’re ready to go.

WebSharing home screen

Working with WebSharing

It’s pretty much like working with any desktop file manager. Right click anywhere to create a new folder on your phone, to delete files, or move files and folders around. Probably the most useful feature in WebSharing, and the one you’ll use the most, is uploading and downloading files.

WebSharing main window

To download a file, right click on it and select Download Selected. If you want to download multiple files, CTRL-click them. Then, from the File menu on the left side of the screen select Download Selected.

Uploading works in pretty much the same way. Just right click anywhere and select Upload Files. In the popup window, search for the files that you want to upload and then click OK. Depending on the size of the files, the upload can take a few seconds to a few minutes.

On top of that, you can view or listen to any photo, video, or audio file by double clicking on it. WebSharing also gives you at-a-glance access to your photos, music, and videos. Just click one of the tabs at the top of the window in your browser.

You don’t get mere thumbnails, but decent-sized previews. And when you click the Music tab, you can stream the songs on your device to your computer. Yes, it is great at parties!

WebSharing view media

WebSharing is a simple and useful app. It lets you escape the tyranny of the USB cable and efficiently move files between your Android-powered phone and your computer.

Photo credit: giggs from Morguefile.com

Share files the easy way with Ge.tt

Remember the old days of sharing or transferring files when you had to put them on a floppy disk or a USB flash drive to move them between computers, or to pass those files to a friend or colleague?  The method worked, but only if you were moving files a few feet away. Even so, doing it got really old really quickly.

Email has made sharing and moving files a bit easier. Slightly. Some people block messages with attachments, others use email systems that limit the size of attachments. Those attachments get stripped from a message or the message gets bounced, something you don’t want to happen.  That’s where web-based file sharing apps are a boon. Ones like Dropbox and Box.net are great, but they can be a bit more cumbersome.

Enter Ge.tt.

Ge.tt bills itself as an instant, real-time file publishing and sharing service. If you need to share one file or a bunch of them, Ge.tt makes doing the sharing files simple and easy.

Getting going

Head on over to the Ge.tt website and start uploading. While you can upload files right from Ge.tt’s main page, it might be worthwhile signing up for an account. The account is free, and lets you remove files at will. On top of that, with an account you can track who has accessed your files. In case you’re wondering, the service automatically deletes files that haven’t been touched for three months.

Regardless of what route you take, get started by clicking the Create share button. From there, search your hard drive for the file that you want to upload. That can be any kind of file — a document, a video, or a photo.

Sharing by email

A couple of things happen. Ge.tt uploads your file (and uploads it pretty quickly, too) and creates a shortened URL for it. That comes in handy with the next step of the process.

Ready to share

Sharing your files

Your file is on Ge.tt’s server. Now what? Time to spread the word. Remember that shortened URL? You can post it to Facebook, Twitter, or send it by email. All you have to do is click an icon on the page that lists your shared files.

With Facebook and Twitter, clicking the icon takes you to the login page for whichever service you choose. After you login, you can post the URL to your friends and followers.

Click the email icon to open an email form. From there, type the recipient’s email address, enter an optional message, and click Send. Unfortunately, you can only share your files with one person at a time. If you want to share the file by email with more than one person, just copy the URL and paste it into a message in your favorite email program or service.

Uploading your file

 

Yea or nay?

If you’re looking for long-term storage for your files, or to synchronize them between your computers and devices, Ge.tt probably isn’t what you’re looking for. But if you need a quick and easy way to share, say, a video that you took with your Flip cam, then Ge.tt is definitely worth a closer look.

Easily Share Photos this Holiday Season with Min.us

It’s very likely you will be surrounded by loved ones with itchy camera trigger fingers this Christmas.  The amount of picture-taking will be incalculable, as everyone is locked and loaded with gigabytes to spare on their cameras.  But after the party is over, and the ‘awkward smile’ pictures are removed, you will be left with a handful of great shots.

It’s no big chore to share your pictures via email, but it’s not the most sophisticated way to distribute them either.  So, you may ask, what are the tech-savvy using to share their family photos this holiday season?  A new web service called Min.us.

Min.us is making some noise and may even upset the current king of photo sharing simplicity – imgur.  Min.us boasts a two word motto: “Share simply”, and it allows you to do just that.  The site cleverly uses drag and drop, right onto the web page, which is a first for any image sharing service I know of.  It also automatically creates a “gallery” of the images you have dropped into your browser, making it easy to rename, delete, rearrange and share your pics.

After sharing the gallery link, your recipient can choose what pics they want from the group and then download just those pics into a zipped file.  Neato!

Oh I DID make it so.

Additionally, min.us allows for all the same things as other popular sharers, like linking to a single image, and has support for JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, and APNG file types.  Near the picture’s direct link you’ll see the dimensions and file size – it’s like everything you need to know, right there on one page!

Probably the most notable feature of all is the way min.us uses an effective navigation system which is controlled either by click, or by using the directional keys for skimming through the gallery pictures quickly.  The only restriction is that images are limited to 7MB, so the biggest challenge of sharing your photos might be explaining to grandma how to compress those holiday memories from her new 12 megapixel camera, ha!

Update: Since writing, there have been more updates like the option to file browse OR to just drag and drop.  Follow site and blog updates here.