SugarSync announced today a major overhaul of its user interface and functionality, along with a slew of new features that could give it an edge over Dropbox as the go-to cloud storage service. The public beta version of SugarSync 2.0 is available for download on Mac and PC now. A companion app for Android is also available, but iOS, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Phone users will have to wait a little longer.
Like Dropbox and other cloud storage services, SugarSync 2.0 allows you to share folders or files with others by giving them direct access, or simply generating a link where they can snag the files. The problem with these links, says SugarSync, is that “for some, the process of generating that link is not intuitive.” To solve this first-world problem, SugarSync 2.0 allows you to drag-and-drop files or folders onto a contact to share the file with that person privately, or through a public link. If the folder isn’t already in your SugarSync cloud, it will be automatically added. People who click the link don’t have to sign up for SugarSync, or download any new software – a key feature that makes this functionality particularly useful.
To help you better manage your synced data across multiple devices, SugarSync has added search functionality that makes it possible to find that expense report from a few months ago, or the pictures of your daughter’s first birthday far easier than it used to be.
Another solid new feature in version 2.0 is the SugarSync Drive, which appears in the Mac Finder or Windows Explorer in the same way an external hard drive would. The SugarSync Drive shows you all the files or folders you’ve synced to your account, including those from other computers or mobile devices. It also allows you to edit files remotely. This means you can edit files from your home computer that are stored on your work computer, and all the changes will be made across devices.
After a short round of tests with SugarSync 2.0, we have to give the company credit for a job well done. The UI is easily more intuitive than Dropbox. And the features listed above seem to work as promised – we really haven’t run into any noticeable problems just yet on that front.
That said, this is a beta release, and the software is just a bit buggy. Our MacBook Air developed a bit of delayed reaction syndrome after we had SugarSync 2.0 up and running. And a few odd little things, like the UI window not popping up when we click the toolbar icon, did cause some minor annoyances.
Overall, however, this is a solid release from SugarSync, and one that might just push us away from Dropbox entirely.
SugarSync gives you 5GB of free storage. Paid accounts range from $5 per month for 30GB, up to $40 for 500GB, which is right in range with other cloud storage subscription services.
Watch an introduction into SugarSync 2.0 below: