Do you have a lot of files and documents in the cloud that you want to search through? Are you looking for an easy way to share cloud files with friends and colleagues? If you’re looking for a simple solution, Cloudring may just be the answer.
Cloudring is a search tool that lets you search through popular cloud services, email, and social networks at once. You can also use it to transfer files and documents back and forth in the cloud. Plus it makes it easy to share those files with the people that you choose.
Although there’s not much information on the website, Cloudring is really easy to set up and use.
Adding Apps to Your Account
To get started with the service, you’ll need to add some apps to your account. It’s pretty simple, click on “Apps” in the top navigation and the click “Add App” at the top right of the page.
You can choose to add any of the following services:
Click on the app that you want to add, enter a display name, and then click the “connect” button. For most services, you’ll be directed to the their website so that you can authorize your account and give Cloudring access.
Upon completion, you’ll see a confirmation message letting you know that your account has been successfully added.
You can also select whether or not to start indexing the app for search. Enabling this allows you to search through names and the content of your files. Later we’ll see how you can also choose which documents to make available for search, if you don’t want to make an entire app searchable. Search indexing may take a while, depending on how many files and folders you have in your accounts.
Once you’ve added all of the apps that you want to use and they’ve all been indexed for search, you can start searching and transferring files.
Searching Through Your Apps
From the search page, you can see how many files are in your apps and how many have been indexed. When you enter your query into the search box, you can search by date and for specific file types. You can also save a search that you may want to use frequently.
Cloudring will display results from all of your indexed accounts, along with the file size and day/time last modified. You can click on each result to go to its original source (i.e. The actual page of a tweet or Facebook post).
As you can see, the search tool on Cloudring is extremely useful on its own since it allows you to search through all of your cloud files, email, and social networking posts all at once.
From the Transfer page, you can transfer files and folders from one of your apps to another. Since you can only transfer files and documents, this section will only work with services like Dropbox, Google Docs and Evernote. You’ll notice that the interface looks much like your average FTP service and it’s really easy to navigate.
You must select the service that you want to transfer to and from using the drop-down at the top of both columns. When you’re ready, just drag-and-drop files between the two sources; you can see the progress of your transfers from the transfer bar at the top of the page.
Note: You can only transfer files up to 100MB; anything larger will be skipped. This is a pretty small size limitation; it definitely shows that Cloudring is not meant for sharing or transferring large files.
When you mouse over each file you’ll see three icons appear: share, transfer, add to search. This gives you more options, such as the ability to share a specific file or folder with friends and add specific files and folders to search – especially useful if you do not want to index an entire app for search; this allows you to pick and choose which items are indexed.
Even though Cloudring looks promising, I’m not sure if it’s going in the right direction. There hasn’t been much activity in the support forums since late 2011. The knowledge base is also very small, which means you won’t find much information about using the app.
There’s a section on the Apps page called “Other People’s Apps,” which I’m really curious about. Unfortunately, I can’t find a way to collaborate with others and there’s not any support information. It would really be great if you could see accounts from your friends or coworkers, so that you could easily transfer files back and forth.
Will Cloudring move forward and improve on what seems to be an abandoned service? I sure hope so because I can really see myself using it regularly. How about you?