So you’ve decided you need a tool to help you share files easily, but can’t quite decide which one. CloudApp and Droplr are the two most popular apps for sharing files from your menubar or directly from the web, but they’re both so similar it can hard to tell which one is the best for you. The both are web apps for sharing files, they both have native apps for sharing simply from Windows and OS X, they both have free account options, and they now both have pro accounts for sharing more files with more features.
Last year, Jarel wrote an in-depth review comparing CloudApp and Droplr, but a lot has changed in the past year. Let’s look at each of these apps features today, including their native Windows and OS X apps, so you can see which app makes the most sense for you.
So What’s the Big Difference?
For apps that are so simple, there are actually a number of little ways that Droplr and CloudApp are different. They’ve both started out as simple ways to share files from your Mac, but both now make it easy to share files from most devices and the web. They may work similarally in many ways, but in some ways they approach sharing differently. Here, we’ll look at each of their basic services, pro accounts, web apps, note and code sharing options, Windows and Mac apps, and other ways you can user them. Hopefully you’ll have a better idea which one would work best for you by the end!
the core stuff
CloudApp, at first glance, would appear to be the most Mac focused of the two, but it’s actually a great tool for sharing from Macs, PCs, the web, and more. CloudApp may work best from Macs, but you can signup for a free account on their site, then share files right from the web or from any of the apps that work with CloudApp. CloudApp lets you upload up to 10 files, each up to 25Mb, per day for free, and there’s no cap on the total number of files you can save in your account. Your files will be saved with a short cl.ly link, and the sharing pages won’t feature any ads. In fact, you won’t see ads anywhere throughout CloudApp’s service. CloudApp also lets you pick between a short public link and a long, more private link for each of your files.
Droplr‘s always been a nice app for sharing files, but this year has undergone a ton of changes to make it even nicer. It’s now very web focused, letting you even upload files right from their site without getting an account. It still works best with their Mac app, though, but there are also Droplr apps for Windows and iOS. With a free Droplr account, you can upload as many files as you want as long as their 25Mb or under. Also, you can only store a total of 1Gb of files with a free account. Your files will be saved with a short d.pr link, and your shared pages will have an ad at the bottom from the Fusion network.
So, basically, CloudApp and Droplr both allow up to 25Mb files on free accounts. CloudApp lets you upload up to 10 files per day, forever, while Droplr lets you upload as many files as you want each day up to a total of 1Gb in your account.
when you need more
You can’t run out of storage in CloudApp, and there’s already no ads on your shared pages, but you might find the 10 file/day limit a bit restrictive. That’s when you’ll need CloudApp Pro. For $5/month or $45/year, you can get unlimited uploads per day, and can also upload files as large as 250Mb. If you have a Pro account, you can also use your own domain with CloudApp. If you ever decide to downgrade back to a free account, all of your uploads are saved as before, and you’ll just have to limit yourself to sharing 10 files/day with the old 25Mb limit, but the larger files you’d already uploaded are still safe.
Droplr just launched their Pro accounts this month, adding a ton of extra features to their standard Droplr accounts. Free Droplr accounts only let you store up to 1Gb of files, so if you’ve filled up your account, or are just looking for more features, you might want to upgrade. For an introductory price of $3/month or $30/year, you’ll get a Pro account which lets you upload up to a total of 100Gb of files, and also lets you upload individual files up to 1Gb each. Your sharing pages will also be ad-free with a pro account, and you’ll get options to password protect your shared files, customize your shared page style, use your own domain, and view detailed stats on your shared files. If you downgrade back to a free account, all of your uploads will still be safe online, but you can’t upload any more files if your account has more than 1Gb of files already in it.
The Web App
when a browser’s all you want to use
CloudApp’s site lets you use all of its functions right from your browser. You can enter a web address to bookmark and shorten it, or you can upload a file directly from your computer. You can also sort your files by type or popularity, change the names on files, copy their short address, or delete them if you need. Its design looks nice, though it’s nothing that feels very groundbreaking. The good thing is, everything works right from the web, so if you really can’t use a CloudApp app, you can still make full use of the service from your browser.
Droplr’s new web app takes online file browsing to the next level, with a dynamic layout that fills your screen with the best number of files to easily see, and auto-loads the next files as you scroll down. You can also sort your files by a variety of categories: size, upload date, name, number of views, and type. Droplr lets you upload files by dragging-and-dropping them on the drop spot in the bottom left corner, and also lets you search through files you’ve saved, both features that CloudApp’s web app doesn’t have. However, you can’t shorten web addresses from Droplr’s web app, and you also can’t create text notes from your browser. But overall, their web apps is one of Droplr’s nicest features.
Notes, Text, and Code
when you more than just a picture
CloudApp makes it easy to share text files and code snippets online. If you upload a .txt or .md file, it’ll display the text with Markdown formatting as a nice on-screen note. You can also upload HTML, CSS, or other standard code files, and CloudApp will show the code with syntax highlighting. Even if you upload the text or code files from your browser, they’ll still get the nice note or code views that make them great to share online. If you did want to share the file itself rather than the raw code, you can share the direct link in the top left corner, which gives an easy way to share fully formatted HTML files online without using an FTP server. Then, using the native apps, you can upload your clipboard content or plain text as a .txt file directly to CloudApp.
If you share a text or code file in Droplr, it’ll just give you a link to download it from their site, and there’s no way to link directly to the file or view it as a note in your browser. Instead, the Droplr apps let you create Plain Text, Markdown, Textile, or Code notes, which can then be saved to your Droplr account and viewed online much like plain text or code files in CloudApp. The only problem is, you can’t create notes from your browser with Droplr, and you can’t just view .txt or code files online directly.
On Your Mac
where it all started
CloudApp’s Mac app is minimalist, making it easy to share files and screenshots, and quickly open files you’ve recently shared online. Just drag-and-drop files to the icon in your menubar, and they’ll be uploaded and a short link will be saved in your clipboard to post online easily. Click the icon to see your recent uploads. One nice feature is that CloudApp always shows the extension at the end of your files. CloudApp can auto-upload screenshots, if you want, and also includes a number of Raindrops which let you upload files directly from a number of popular Mac apps.
Droplr’s Mac app works much the same, with a couple of extra features. You can hover over your latest drops to see a quick preview of them, copy their link, or delete the drop directly. You also have Droplr’s notes feature ready to let you add a new text note or code snippet. Droplr focuses more on the type of upload (file, image, link, note) rather than the file itself, so it doesn’t show the file extension, instead showing a colorful icon of the drop type. Droplr also has a number of plugins to let you upload files from apps, and shows a toast notification when it starts and when a file is uploaded successfully. Droplr’s app ends up feeling a bit bolder and more chatty, but also has more features, while CloudApp’s feels more minimalist and to-the-point.
On Your PC
Windows users don’t need to feel left outBoth Droplr and CloudApp started out as Mac app, but they also both have nice Windows counterparts as well. CloudApp’s Windows app is a 3rd party free app, FluffyApp, which does a great job replicating CloudApp’s features in Windows. You can upload files by dragging them to the tray icon just like on the Mac, though you’ll have to enable this feature in the settings. You can also see recent drops or upload files through the menu that opens when you click the app, and interestingly can create text notes directly from the app without opening a text editor. Droplr’s Windows app started out as a 3rd party too, WinDroplr, but was later made into the official Droplr for Windows app. It has most of the same features as Droplr’s Mac app, but unfortunately you have to have a square drop zone visible on your desktop to upload files, and can’t just upload them by dragging-and-dropping them on the tray icon. The nice thing is, WinDroplr has screenshot tools built in, as well as Droplr’s notes tool. You’ll have to open drops in your browser to view them, though, and can’t preview them like you can with Droplr for Mac.
yup, the other devices and apps are important too
Both Droplr and CloudApp have APIs that let developers integrate their services into their apps. CloudApp is integrated into a large number of apps, with a number of 3rd party apps for iOS (including the nice Stratus app) and Android (such as DroidCloud). It’s also included in Sparrow, one of the nicest email apps for OS X, as an alternate for using traditional email attachments, and is even included as an upload option in the Doxie scanner. Droplr isn’t in as many apps, but it is in many mobile Twitter apps like Tweetbot as a file sharing option.
The Two True Winners
So, which is the best app for sharing files? Turns out, they’re both very nice, and are quite similar in many ways. They’re not precisely the same, and the differences between the way they handle text notes, code, and links make me prefer CloudApp, while Droplr’s web app and Mac apps are nice enough to make it tempting. If I was still using a PC, though, I’d find FluffyApp’s CloudApp integration much nicer than Droplr’s Windows app. I also find CloudApp’s 10 file limit nicer, so you don’t have to worry about running out of storage, but some might prefer to have a cap on total storage rather than file uploads. Either way, it’s nice to be able to have such a selection of great file sharing tools that work on the web, as well as on Macs and PCs.
Do you use either CloudApp or Droplr? What do you like most about your own favorite file sharing app? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!