SugarSync for iPhone review

SugarSync is an online backup service reminiscent of Dropbox. It lets you access your backed up files on the go, and share them with friends. You can automatically sync new photos back to your computer, and even stream MP3s.

To get started with SugarSync, you need to create an account, which you can do from within the app. Of course, the app is pretty useless unless you install the cross-platform SugarSync software on your Mac.

Once you start syncing documents from your computer, they’ll become visible in the app. Some document types – PDFs, Word documents – can be read from within the app. Scrolling through PDFs feels slower than in other apps, unfortunately. Photos load instantly, and you can snap new pictures right from within SugarSync, but waiting while those new photos get synced takes a few long seconds, even via WiFi.

MP3s can stream right from SugarSync’s servers, and played on our iPhone 3GS without stuttering. Unlike Dropbox’s iPhone app, however, SugarSync doesn’t let you watch synced videos from within the app. Nor can you delete files that you no longer need.

Whether SugarSync can open a file or not, it will always offer to let you send the file to someone else. Sending files isn’t as seamless as it should be. There’s no auto-completion as you type your contacts’ email address. And while the in-app address book has all your iPhone’s contacts, it doesn’t respect your iPhone’s settings for your preferred order for contacts; it always sorts by first name.

We did encounter occasional oddities within the app. From time to time, in the central Files screen, instead of the graphical overview of all the different places you can browse files from, we encountered a solid black screen. A relaunch fixed this each time.

OUR VERDICT

SugarSync is good at its core features, but it’s not great at anything it does. Dropbox syncs faster and its app feels a little more intuitive. As both apps are free, you can try each one and pick your favourite.

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