Upload Robots: Focus with Precision

Recent trends in design have led to many successful applications that focus on one thing, and one thing only. This is a promising trend as many of these applications have been able to succeed when focused in this way.

Due in part to this focus, one genre of application that has really blossomed is that of file sharing. Specifically, Dropbox has won the hearts of people all over the world. But the solid design has been implemented in other apps in this space.

Today I’d like to look at one in particular: Upload Robots.

This tool is more than just a sexy name. It also sports a gorgeous interface that also works well — that is to say, the usability factor is high. Let’s take a look at the various aspects of this app.

Setup

As I’ve discussed previously, the sign up page for Upload Robots is very nicely designed. It’s quick and easy to get up and running. Even further, you don’t need to sign up to the service to use it. Simply upload a file and access it via the link created.

But once you created an account, when returning to the page to log in, you are treated to one of the examples of the nice touches that were added to the interface.

No choppy animation here — everything is smooth.

No choppy animation here — everything is smooth.

Clicking on the Login link does not direct you to a separate page, but rather a dropdown dialogue smoothly falls into place over the navigation elements at the top of the page. Smooth like butter, there is no choppy animation here. This one aspect gives you a taste of the quality that has been integrated into this application.

But of course, visual slickness doesn’t make up for a lack of functionality. Let’s dig a little deeper.

The Features

So what can you do with Upload Robots? Well, upload files of course. You do so by clicking the yellow “Choose file to upload” button.

The entire interface is clean and uncluttered.

The entire interface is clean and uncluttered.

Another nice touch here is the progress bar tracking your upload. It’s also displayed in the title field, visible at the top of most browsers or in the tab itself.

The progress bar displays the speed of your upload.

The progress bar displays the speed of your upload.

On the My Files page, you can also organize your uploaded files into groups. And once you have more than one group, moving files from one group to another is performed by a simple drag and drop.

Again, there is no lag with the functionality.

Again, there is no lag with the functionality.

Clicking on any file in particular gives you a preview of the file (not all file types support a preview image though). This dialogue also includes the meta about the file, complete with a link you can send to others. People without an Upload Robots account can still access the files you’ve uploaded.

Previews are available for audio, video and graphic files.

Previews are available for audio, video and graphic files.

And one aspect that cannot be overlooked is speed — Upload Robots is very fast. Even on my slower 3G connection, I did not have to wait long for my files to upload. Speed is always appreciated in an application.

Going Pro

For a low cost at $5 a month, Upload Robots users can upgrade to the Pro version (use the coupon code ‘appstorm‘ to get a 20% reduction). This will give you access to the following features:

  • More storage: 120 GB per year plus a maximin file size of 250 MB
  • Better security: Files are secured with SSL 128 bit encryption.
  • Custom domains: personalize your account with a custom subdomain.
  • Custom links: personalize the links to your files for easier sharing.
  • Group sharing: Instead of sharing just files, you can share an entire file group.

As well, the speed of your uploads is supposed to be faster compared to non-Pro accounts.

Is It Enough?

As I stated at the beginning, this application is focused and the feature set is sparse. But what it does, it does very well. For those with more needs, there is the option of upgrading to the Pro version.

But there are a lot of quality options in this space. Does Upload Robots give you enough to compare with a tool like Dropbox or Drop.io? I sure appreciate the integration Dropbox gives me with my operating system, so I think it would be difficult to move to a service that is web interface only. Even an email dropbox similar to Backpack or Highrise would be a good addition.

But if you prefer web interfaces, give Upload Robots a good look. It’s overall visual richness is worth it alone.