Ever since it was first introduced, I regularly use OS X’s AirDrop feature. I work with several groups of people, and in case we all use Macs, sharing a file is just wondrous. To be frank, I don’t even remember the last time I used USB simply to exchange some files with someone, since I use Dropbox to send files to people who use Windows PC. Since we all tend to cooperate with different platforms, or differently said – Mac and PC users can now effortlessly work side by side, it would be amazing if Windows had a similar solution to AirDrop, so that I can send some files without opening my Dropbox account and sending an e-mail with a link to that file. Well, as it turns out, such application already exists and it’s named Filedrop.
Filedrop is pretty similar to AirDrop, considering that both are Wi-Fi ad-hoc services. For those who haven’t still explored this feature, we’ll say a few words about it. AirDrop was first introduced in Mac OS X Lion (10.7) and it is now available on all Mac models. Some pre-2009 models don’t support this feature, so in case you use an older Mac you’ll need to check that out by yourself. In order to use it, several Macs need to be on the Wi-Fi network and sharing a file is as easy as drag-and-dropping it at you friend’s computer icon. It basically replaces USB stick and cloud services. Now, Filedrop works pretty much the same way, with exception that you can use it on Macs and Windows PC’s as well, which means that you effortlessly share files, and almost instantly.
It is important to say that Filedrop needs to installed and open on every single computer which needs to be in a sharing network. Filedrop is a standalone application, and if you close its window you will close this application, and thus you will close a possible sharing connection to your computer. I find this to be a bit annoying, since developers could have made it menu bar-compatible, so it can always run in the background. However that’s not the case.
Once you and your friends or coworkers open Filedrop, and assuming you’re all on the same Wi-Fi network, all you need to do is drag-and-drop a file into Filedrop’s window (of the appropriate end-user) and some green fireflies will start swirling around. That means that file is being uploaded, and after that an end-user should receive a notification if they want to accept an incoming file. This file will be saved in Downloads folder by default, but you can change that accordingly. You will also receive a confirmation that file has been successfully sent. The interface is fairly simple, and could be a little bit more attractive, even though notifications are designed in an OS X-friendly manner.
In general, Filedrop can be extremely useful since there are Mac and Windows versions, which gives you open sharing network with almost everyone. Developers announced that an iOS and Android versions are coming in a few weeks as well. The only downside that I can see is that you need to keep an eye on Filedrop, to see if its open and present on your desktop, since there’s no way to make it silently and non-intrusively run in the background.