ESSENTIALS: Software to improve your life - drop.io
Dropbox is a fantastic sharing tool but it does rather rely on everyone else having it to get the most out of your experience. By the same token, Google Wave is a decent platform for collaboration but it's a touch slow, buggy, not everything works yet and you can probably count the number of people that use it on one hand.
So, if you're looking for the best of both solutions rolled into one cloud-based, more developed service that everyone has access to, then you've come to the right place.
- Sharing & Collaboration
There's too much to tell about this excellent online service and, if we did fill you in on every single detail, it would only spoil the joy of discovering for yourself what a flexible diverse tool drop.io is. What it boils down to in a nutshell is a web space that you can fill with whatever kind of files and media you like and then share with any number of people you choose by sending them a link to that space.
The link opens up into a clean and clear platform where fellow collaborators can view the content, comment on it, add to it, download it and just about anything else you can think of. At the same time, there's an instant chat box for everyone there at the same time and people can perform a presentation within the space to show others what they're doing on their screen.
Each collaboration is known as a drop and you can add more files and media to them remotely either by e-mailing to a unique address or by leaving a voicemail on a freephone number which will then be converted to an MP3 get embedded on the drop. There's even a conference call facility for the participants to use as well.
You can choose the URL suffix when you create the drop and upload up to 100MB worth of information without having to sign up or register for anything at all. Beyond that limit you can go for a paid account to increase your storage up to 25GB. None of the drops are searchable on the internet, meaning that they're completely private, but, all the same you can set a date by which they naturally expire and of course add passwords so that only your selected guests can view them.
On top of all that, there's plenty of social integration. Each collaborator can receive e-mail or SMS notification every time there's a change to the drop, files can be automatically tweeted out or shared on Facebook and you can subscribe to the drops as podcasts through iTunes, if that's how you wish to play everything back. The bottom line is that the developers have thought of a lot of different ways to interact with their service.
Of course, if you just want to keep it simple, drop.io also happens to be one of the quickest and easiest ways out there of sharing files and, if someone wants the lot, they can just download them all in one single zip. Very neat.
If you use anything similar which you think is better or if there are any pieces of software of services that you think are good enough to be Essentials, then let us know in the comments below.