Review: AirForShare by Birds Corp

This is a discussion on Review: AirForShare by Birds Corp within the Apple Product Reviews forums, part of the Apple News Room category; Utilizing a single WiFi hotspot, AirForShare for iPhone (free, App Store) enables cross-platform text and file sharing. Birds Corp has created a fairly elegant system, ...

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    Review: AirForShare by Birds Corp




    Utilizing a single WiFi hotspot, AirForShare for iPhone (free, App Store) enables cross-platform text and file sharing. Birds Corp has created a fairly elegant system, allowing a user to add text and other files to the interface, then access the information on another iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or computer. Essentially, the AirForShare app works with AirForShare.com to provide a limited server (“cloud” if you are new-age) based clipboard.




    Design


    Created for use on a single WiFi network, AirForShare fills a niche market. The app accesses temporary (30 minutes) server-side storage for users. To share or transfer files and text, use the app to upload the desired information to a local Dropbox-like storage space. Once uploaded, the files can be accessed by other users on the same WiFi network by downloading AirForShare on their iOS devices or pointing to Airforshare.com. The user interface for the app and the website is simple and without advertisements, which is refreshing for a free service.

    Usability


    The simple design and layout of both the app and website make the user experience a positive one. To add text or a file, simply tap the corresponding tab. If downloading a file from the app, an in-app preview is provided by tapping individual files; however, the previews are limited to file types recognized by iOS. An additional benefit includes access to other apps, allowing the user to download directly to Dropbox, for example.

    I enjoyed the ease of the app while testing its capabilities. In fact, I used AirForShare to transfer the screenshots (included) from my iPhone to my laptop. There have been many times when I had something on my iPhone and preferred to have it quickly available on my laptop without emailing the file to myself or worse, copying and pasting a link into an email. When moving files around a single WiFi network to multiple devices, I plan to continue using AirForShare, thanks to the simple and add-free design.

    Unfortunately, AirForShare is limited to one WiFi network and a storage time of 30 minutes. If these restrictions were not present AirForShare would easily replace my Dropbox account. More positively, the limited network accessibility does eliminate the need to use passwords, logins, email addresses, or user names. Because the app only works across the hotspot, it is assumed the other network users should have access to the information stored in the server space.




    Conclusion

    Rating: 4/5
    If you constantly email things to yourself only to access them on another device, pick up AirForShare (free, App Store) and store the information temporarily in the cloud. In summary, AirForShare is a great in-home server side clipboard, but I would shy away from this one if you are looking to actually transfer files and text between friends and family – unless you want to throw a party at your place to get them all on the same network.

    Pros

    Attractive and simple UI
    No log-ins or accounts
    No email requirements, user names, passwords or cables
    No emailing files to share with others
    Add it on one device, find it easily on another
    Preview any file type that is supported by that device
    Free

    Cons

    Devices must be on the same WiFi network
    Not encrypted, anyone on the network can access stored text and files (this would only be a concern when using a public wifi network)
    Server side storage of content only lasts 30 minutes
    12-21-11

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