Cloud service Syncplicity adds file sharing for Android

Users of the service can share files through links with non-Android users

Cloud storage provider Syncplicity today announced it has enabled file-sharing capabilities on Android OS smartphones and tablets.

Syncplicity users can access and share file folders on their PCs and Macs and can access cloud apps, such as Google Docs and Salesforce, and on-premise apps like SharePoint, Android 2.x phones and tablets.

The service is similar to DropBox, but is more "fine-tuned" for a workgroup environment, according to Syncplicity Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Schultz.

Syncplicity offers three types of accounts: a free account with 2GB of storage for one person with two devices; a personal account for one user with up to three devices and 50GB of storage for $15 per month; and a business edition, which costs $45 per month and includes up to three users with an unlimited number of devices and up to 50GB of shared capacity.

According to Schultz, Syncplicity's service gives IT administrators the ability to manage users centrally. Admins can set permissions for the system -- for instance, defining whether users are allowed to share files outside of a business. The service allows admins to set up default configurations for what files will be synchronized in the cloud, and it allows admins to remotely wipe all files from a device.

"It also allows them to set up policies regarding data retention. For example, if you share files with contractors and the contract expires, using Syncplicity you can automate the process of deleting the files off the contractor's computers," Schultz said.

With the Android user interface, users can share files of unlimited size with others -- with or without Syncplicity accounts -- from their Android device without needing access to their computers, either directly or through a VPN.

And because the new service supports tablets running the Android operating system, it can also be used with the new Kindle Fire, Schultz said.

"Let's say the user is on the road and they are asked to look at a file or send a file. Because of Syncplicity's approach ... all files are automatically accessible on their mobile device. They can see updates by them or others they're working with," Schultz said. "When they're done working on a file, they can then use their Android device to upload it back to Syncplicity."

The service also includes versioning, or keeping multiple copies of a file's history.

When a Syncplicity user wants to share a file with a non-Syncplicity user, the user only needs to click on the file, retrieve a URL and send that link to the other person via an Android OS-enabled device.

The Android capability is free and comes with Syncplicity's Business Edition.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

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