Sunday, 4 May 2014

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Copy.com and its desktop client app are incredibly easy. There is no guess work, and everything is pretty intuitive. So unless you have never used any cloud-based services before, we can’t really imagine why you would need customer support. Regardless, Copy.com has a web-based knowledgebase and support forum over at Zendesk. The knowledgebase covers a lot of issues and questions that you will have. If you have anymore questions, you can just submit your request through support forum. Simple as that.

We didn’t test on response time here since all questions people will have are already addressed in the knowledgebase. We just couldn’t think of anything else to ask.

The Process

Copy - Home

Once you visit Copy.com, there is no complication on the home page, and it is pretty clear of what you can do. Sure, it has two call to actions: “Drop files here to share” and “Sign Up Now” prominently on the home page. But they are not that confusing. If you use Drop Files Here, then you can upload one file without signing up, and after it is uploaded, you will get a shared link to access your file. This is quick and easy way to share your files without having to sign up an account. Since it is web-based upload, there must be a ceiling on maximum file size you can upload so it is best to sign up an account if you are looking for long term usage.

Copy - Signup

Signing up is also very easy and straightforward. You don’t have to fill in countless forms or whatnot. It only asks you for your first name, last name, email and password. Then voila, your account will be created and you will be logged in immediately into your account. Such straightforwardness and simplicity are always welcomed in today’s world of clutter and chaos.

Copy - Tour

Right after you log in, you will get this welcome dialog. It is basically a short tour, and will show you things you should know about Copy.com. It also comes with a short message for you to tweet it so that you can spread the words about Copy.com on Twitter.

Copy - Dashboard

After the tour, this is the Dashboard of your account. The interface is very simple, and there is no complication. To the left, you see Copy folder and Shared With Me folder. The names aptly reflect what they are so we won’t explain what it is. When you click on either one, at the right panel, you will see all folders and files. The interface is intuitive enough that you don’t need to guess what is what.

Copy - Folder Property

So did you see the arrows pointing right (>) beside the folders? When you click on it, you get what you see above. Those are functions you can do with that folder. You can download whole folder, you can rename it, or you can share it. You can also see file activity (for folders already shared).

Copy - Folder Share Action

When you click on Share, this is what you will see. You can choose to share publicly or securely (private link). Everybody with a link for a publicly shared folder can access it. However, for privately shared folders, users must verify their email address in order to access it. So even if your friends give link to a privately shared folder, you will know exactly who accessed what based on the email address.

Copy - Secure Sharing

Public sharing will just give you a link, but Secure Sharing has an extra step for you. You have to enter email address of people you want to invite, and also set permission for each on whether you want them to view only or let them also edit and sync. Then Copy.com will send an email containing a link to your shared folder.

Copy - Right Click Menu

Right click anywhere in the right panel and you will be able to create a new folder or upload files using Copy.com web app. There is no bulk upload feature, as Copy.com intends you to use their desktop client app.

Copy - Install App

You can just click on Install App on the top navigation menu, then you will be prompted to download the desktop client app for your OS (it detects your OS). If by any chance you want to download the app for another OS then there are also links right under the download button. Pretty nifty. Kudos to Copy.com team for their well-planned usability. It takes away guess work and extra steps from users, making the whole experience pretty seamless and smooth.

Copy - App Login Copy - Taskbar

We will skip the installation of the app itself but after you install it, you only have to log in and it will put an icon in your system taskbar. The menu items from the taskbar icon are pretty similar to Dropbox.

Copy - App Preference Sharing

We won’t explain other interfaces in Preference settings of Copy app but Sharing tab deserves a mention. Basically, here you can manage all your public and private sharing of your folders. You can manage permissions, and set which default directory will accept incoming shared files. Pretty useful. You can also use Copy Actions in right-click menu, which will only appear if you are right clicking in Copy folder on your computer.

Conclusion

While Dropbox seems to be resting on its laurels and still enjoying the market leader position, others are catching up. And among those plethoras of cloud storage and syncing services, we can confidently predict that Copy will be taking a huge market share pretty soon. Sure, they still need to innovate more. Right now, there are no gallery views of photos uploaded, and its mobile app needs to play catch-up with SugarSync (which is great in streaming music, video, viewing documents and so on). But it was launched extremely polished, stable and usable so we have no doubt about its future.

If you are looking for an efficient, decently fast, cross-platform compatible cloud syncing service with loads of free storage, then go ahead with Copy.com. Heck, even if you are already using Dropbox for years, still try them out. You will fall in love. We promise.

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