November 13, 2012
SugarSync Moves To Simplify Cloud-Based Services
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
As everything moves to the cloud, those companies which provide these services are in a frantic push to persuade users to choose them over their competitors. After all, one´s choice of cloud services is an intensely personal one, and once that decision is made, it could be hard to make a move to another service later down the road. SugarSync has just released some changes and upgrades to their service in hopes to bring in even more users as they compete against the likes of Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft´s SkyDrive, etc... It´s these big players which CEO Laura Yecies hopes will bring business SugarSync´s way.“Our business is growing quickly and we have many millions of customers,” said Yecies, speaking to VentureBeat. “The market has grown more competitive, but the larger players are actually educating people about the cloud. And eventually, many of those people choose SugarSync.”
Though the company does have an iPad and iPhone app available, the new public beta which has just been released is available only in desktop, web, and Android form. SugarSync 2.0 very closely resembles a mobile app, a move which Yecies hopes will improve the overall ease-of-use of the service.
"SugarSync in the past has not led the market in terms of ease of use," said Yecies, speaking to PCMag in an interview before the public beta release. Yecies doesn´t only want the service to be easy to use, she wants it to be so easy to use that customers store all their data on the service, not just files for work.
Using a drag-and-drop interface, SugarSync allows users to select folders which they want to sync with the service. These folders are then displayed within the app, and clicking on one of them reveals the contents therein. Any file stored or changed in these syncing folders is made available across a number of devices, just like many other cloud services. For instance, any song downloaded could be dropped into a folder synced with SugarSync and will then be made available on any mobile device running the app.
The new SugarSync 2.0 also makes it easier for users to share their files with one another. Any SugarSync users, even those who only sign up with a free account, can share their files. To make this process even more fluid, those on the receiving end don´t have to sign up for an account; They´ll be able to simply access the file. The new sharing features have become even more powerful by allowing users to share entire folders with one another rather than sharing individual files. This is an especially attractive feature to small businesses or collaborative teams who need to have access and make changes to a set of files.
Each of the new features are located under 4 tabs, labeled Cloud, Sharing, Activity and Search. Users can see all the folders they're syncing and add new folders to sync under the cloud tab.
As the name suggests, the Sharing tab shows users what files and folders they´re sharing and with whom. The Activity tab will display all the changes to files and when each folder was synced to the cloud. The Search tab allows users to find certain folders and files, though it´s not powerful enough yet to use keywords to find particular documents.
For instance, unless the name of the document or folder contains “Pasta recipes,” this search will not yield any helpful results. Yecies has said future versions of SugarSync should bring about changes which will improve this search feature, as well as bring in geolocation and tagging.
SugarSync is a freemium service, offering users 5 GB of free storage. Those who like the service and want to expand can pay $4.99 a month/$49.99 a year for 30 GB or $24.99 a month/$249.99 a year for 250 GB of storage.