Tips, tricks and tweaks for SugarSync 2.0
David takes a look at SugarSync’s shiny new app
If having one of the world’s best cloud storage and management systems wasn’t enough, the rather clever developers over at SugarSync HQ have recently released a new, flashy interface with oodles of extra goodies to make your cloud storage, syncing and sharing activities even easier and a lot more fun.
What we have here is brand new way of manipulating the files and folders within your SugarSync cloud area. There are numerous new titbits to sink your teeth into, which we’ll cover in a mo, but essentially this new SugarSync 2.0 represents a thoughtful advancement of the desktop management suit to better reflect today’s app-minded user.
Anyway, before we go onto the tips and tricks of this wonderful new software, nip on over to www.sugarsync.com and sign yourself up for 5GB of free storage, then download the new app and start syncing.
For those who have already used SugarSync in the past the first thing you’ll notice is the brand new UI, one that greatly resembles the many apps we already use on a day to day basis. This IM-look and feel brings with it a more fluid way of navigating your way around the cloud; from here you can do all sorts of wonderful things, and while we can’t name them all, here are some of our favourites.
Drag and drop
No doubt once you load up the new SugarSync app you’ll notice the nice, big, blue banner along the top of the window, ‘Drag a folder to sync or…’. It’s fairly self-explanatory really, but as it states all you need to do to start syncing a folder is to drag it from Explorer and drop it onto the blue bar.
Once dragged and dropped, SugarSync will work its magic and permanently start to sync the contents of that folder for as long as you have it included in the cloud. Any change, or additions to the folder, and they’ll be uploaded in the background automatically.
Click on the ‘Search’ icon, located in the top right of the SugarSync window, and you now have the ability to search for any files and folders stored within your cloud. Just start typing and either hit Enter, or click on the magnifying glass icon and within seconds your results will appear in the main window, broken down into Folders, Documents or named Photos. These sections can be expanded or reduced to tidy up the search area, or simply scrolled through.
When you’ve found the searched item in question, you can either mouse over to highlight it, which will offer you the options of opening the folder where it’s located, or start to share it. Or, you can double-click the item to launch it in the appropriate application.
Sharing a document or folder on SugarSync 2.0 is remarkably easy. Start by selecting the folder you wish to share and single-click it to open up the Folder Info window. Click on the ‘Share’ button, and you’ll be presented with a pop-out window detailing the sharing options.
You can share the folder, or document/picture etc. in a number of ways. You could type in the email addresses of the recipients to whom you want to privately share with in the ‘Recipients’ box provided, along with a personal message. Or you can click on the Public Link, and enter the email addresses of the recipients. The public link will allow you to send the shared item to recipients who don’t even have a SugarSync account, as well as linking the share location to social media sites Facebook and Twitter.
By default, the shared item(s) are flagged as ‘Add & Edit’ for the private sharing, and ‘View Only’ for the Public share. Although you can’t at present change the properties for the public share, you can make the Private shared item as View only by clicking on the ‘Add & Edit’ link and opening up the drop-down menu, then changing it to ‘View Only’.
Labelling the various synced folders can help you keep track of what’s stored across your devices, and where. To label a synced folder, single-click to open the Folder Info window, then click the ‘Advanced’ link at the bottom to expand the options. Click the ‘Edit’ button next to ‘Add or edit folder label’ and enter your label into the pop-out window provided. Click ‘Save’ and your item is now labelled.
When you install SugarSync you’ll automatically be assigned an ‘S:’ drive, accessible via Explorer, or even the Command Prompt if you want. The SugarSync Drive, as it’s known, is a mapped drive that acts as a single point of access for your SygarSync files and folders. From here you can edit, remove and rename the contents of the files and folders, as well as adding files by dragging and dropping into your existing SugarSync folders.
If you’re having trouble navigating the new UI, or want to see what new features are now included, then open up the SugarSync 2.0 app, click on ‘Help’ along the top menu bar, followed by ‘Welcome Tour’ from the menu.
SugarSync isn’t just a fancy desktop app for your PC; it’s also available for pretty much every platform and mobile operating system in the known universe. All you need to do is search for SugarSync in the app store of your device, download and install it, then sign in using the same account you created for the desktop version.
Once you’ve signed in, allow SugarSync to automatically sync the pictures folder on your device, and you can now enjoy viewing your pics from a multitude of platforms, along with anything else you fancy sharing whilst on the move.
Like to see what’s been going on behind the scenes of your cloud activity? If so, then click on the ‘Activity’ icon on the new app and you’ll be shown a chronological list of all SugarSync goings on. Rather like an Event Viewer, but much better looking.
As well as the new desktop app, SugarSync has had an overhaul and update of its web-based app. One feature in particular stands out: Slideshow mode for pictures. To use it, log into your SugarSync web account and click on the ‘Cloud’ icon. Now click on a folder containing images, click on the first image and the slideshow will start.
Click to switch forwards or backwards through the images, and click the icons in the lower right to share, download or show information regarding each image.
SugarSync Web Archive is an online only area where you can store items on your cloud space. There’s no syncing or updating involved, just drag and drop files directly here using the SugarSync Drive. Alternatively, you can upload via the mobile app to the Web Archive.
Web Archive is an ideal location for storing files/folders that don’t get updated, or if you’re running low on local storage on your mobile device.
There are plenty of cloud based services around these days, but you’d be hard pressed to match Sugarsync’s features and impressive specs. Of course, it’s a fast-developing area, with lots of competition; while I’m not sure about every cloud, at the moment, SugarSync certainly has the silver lining.