Android is a great mobile operating system. And with Android 2.2, it’s getting even better. One thing Android isn’t very good at, though, is quick and easy wireless file transfers. This week’s App Of The Week solves half of that problem, allowing you to easily transfer files from your computer to your Android phone.
Awesome Drop aims to provide a simple file transfer solution that is lightweight and usable almost anywhere on any computer, without having to use clumsy FTP software or file hosting services. Awesome Drop makes use of HTML5 to allow you to open a browser on your computer, go to a webpage, and simply “drop” files from your computer onto your Android device. No wires, no setup, no hassle.
The browser side runs on Firefox, Chrome, and Safari, and can be used without any software or addons on the respective computer – simply go to http://labs.dashwire.com.
You’ll see a 4-digit number there, that is your PIN. After installing Awesome Drop on your phone, simply enter that pin in the splash screen which appears when you start the app (Left is the browser on PC):
Enter your pin, and both the app and the web browser page will change:
Now, just drag a file from your computer’s desktop or a folder into the green box labeled “Drop files here” and voila! The file(s) will upload, and shortly thereafter appear on your phone in a list below “waiting for drop”. They are stored on your SD card in a directory named “drop”. Just a note, Awesome Drop doesn’t handle really big files very well (>10MB), so don’t go transferring whole DVD rips with it!
Easy, right? Awesome Drop is available free of cost on the Android Market, and you can access it directly from your phone using our clickable QR code below.
We’ve also spoken to the developers of Awesome Drop about some issues with their system, their plans, and Awesome Drop’s future. Take a read:
AndroidPolice: This is a great app, but it feels more like a proof of concept. The reason is mostly its website that seems... incomplete and the fact that you can't find it easily when you search for "awesome drop".
[Dashwire]: Fair assessment. There are a couple of components to our strategy worth noting though. First, our goal with this release was to get something out there, collect user feedback, bring the product to scale, and then iterate and improve upon the offering. We always want to keep the product dead simple, but we definitely plan on expanding upon the feature set with additional feedback. So in a sense…it is something of a proof of concept. Second, Awesome Drop is the first of several targeted products coming down the pipeline from Labs. Once we have more than one product out in market, then the website will be undergoing an update. As for the “Awesome Drop” search feedback…we definitely need to work a bit of SEO magic on this.
Android Police: the http://labs.dashwire.com/drop/android page should most definitely contain the drop capability, not just http://labs.dashwire.com/. In fact, the placement of the drop on what should be a root Labs page instead of the product page http://labs.dashwire.com/drop/android is puzzling.
[Dashwire]: The intent behind http://labs.dashwire.com/drop/android is to provide users with additional information (as well as a video) so that they could learn what they needed to in order to decide to download the app. So really, this is just a marketing page for mobile users. The actual drop site is http://labs.dashwire.com/drop, though for now we just direct the user tohttp://labs.dashwire.com in order to simplify things for them, and just redirect them on our own. Given that Labs will have multiple products, this is the approach we’ve opted to take.
AndroidPolice: Also, what happens when you exceed 10000 simultaneous sessions? Do you show a "busy" message and plan for an app update to add an extra digit? I guess it'll be a good problem to have.
[Dashwire]: Would definitely be a good problem to have, but will take millions of users to hit it. Actually, the way that our system works is that the PIN is used to establish a connection between the two devices, after which it’s thrown out and the connection persists. So, the PIN is only in use from the time the user gets it and the time they input it before it goes back into the pool.
AndroidPolice: Do you have any monetization plans?
[Dashwire]: We do, but only after we collect feedback, bring to scale, and improve the product. When that happens though, for starters, we plan on running advertisements encouraging users to check out our m:IQ product, which although free, does drive monetization. From there, we’ll likely offer some premium features, in addition to the free access. Definitely a freemium approach.
AndroidPolice: The connection to the website doesn't seem to be secure - what are your thoughts on security?
[Dashwire]: The target for this product is to give average users a super easy way to transfer stuff to their phones. For the most part, this is stuff like music and pictures. For those users looking to transfer sensitive information, we’re definitely not the product for them. That being said, enhanced transmission security is a premium feature under consideration, and so if enough users ask for it, we’ll prioritize it.