DropCopy in Review – Sharing Your Stuff

Sharing stuff is a common need for anyone who uses a computer, iPhone, iPad or have friends/family with these devices. For example, I may want to use my iPad to read a pdf file on my computer, copy some text from a document on my iPad to a friend’s iPhone, or share a picture I just took with my wife. There are loads of apps available today that can transfer pictures, files, clipboards, URLs and other things, e.g., Bump, between devices, but is there anything that works well with all this media – and has a user interface that’s comprehensible to the average user?

Let’s take a look at one of them. DropCopy is a universal app for iOS devices and Macs (sorry, no PCs yet). It has a fun and unique user interface and works well with transferring most types of media.

First of all, why do we need another app for this? We can always use e-mail since most apps support it and almost all work with copy and paste. Still it’s an extra couple steps to use e-mail and our inboxes are cluttered enough without using them as temporary holding areas.

The visual metaphor DropCopy employs to connect devices looks (to me) like a circular wormhole called the dropzone that works through bluetooth or local WiFi. Connection is automatic, just start the app on the devices you wish to transfer stuff between and all your devices will find each other.

The free Mac app available on the Mac App store (also called DropCopy) displays its dropzone as a circle (upper left side of the screen above) which can be placed anywhere you wish on your desktop. Just drag files into the dropzone and it will ask where you want them transferred.

Right-clicking on the Mac’s dropzone will pop up a list of connected devices which can be used to:

  • send a message to the connected device
  • send the Mac’s clipboard to the device
  • pull (get) the clipboard from the device

Note that a Mac is not needed to use DropCopy. Transfers between iOS devices work just fine with DropCopy.

Files received on an iPhone or iPad are placed into a local file system managed by the DropCopy app. By default they are placed in one of 4 folders:

  • Documents
  • pdfs
  • Images
  • A/V (audio/video)

These files can then be managed from within the DropCopy app to be previewed, copied to another device or emailed.

If your iOS device has an app installed that’s compatible with the transferred item’s file type, then that app can be launched to open and save the transferred item.

DropCopy also has the ability to send and save text between devices (messages) and is one of the very few apps that allow text on the clipboard to be transferred between devices.

Clipboard text can be either sent from one device to another or pulled from a connected device to the receiver. This can be a very convenient way to copy some text or a URL and get it quickly onto another devices’s clipboard for pasting into an app or document.

If you’re interested in trying DropCopy out before purchasing, a free version, DropCopy Lite, is available which is fully functional for file transfers (only).

The free Mac application on the Mac App Store, DropCopy, lets your Mac connect with up to 3 other devices simultaneously. DropCopy Pro is an upgraded version that removes this 3 device limit.

The developer is responsive to e-mail feedback. I found an issue with the clipboard and he corrected it right away!

Bottom line, this app works well and is fun to use. It isn’t prefect and you may occasionally run across a few glitches, but I like it and the developer seems interested in making improvements. I hope DropBox support is added sometime since it would be a good alternative to retrieving and storing files (especially when a Mac isn’t available or the user has a PC).

App Summary
Title: DropCopy – share files and clipboards wirelessly Developer: 10base-t Interactive
Reviewed Ver: 3.8 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $4.99 App Size: 2.1 MB
  • Free version exists
  • Universal app
  • Plays well with other apps
  • Clipboard transfers!
  • In-app tutorial
  • Fun to use
  • No Windows client
  • Some rough edges and occasional connection issues — resolved by restarting the app
  • A DropBox interface would be a good compliment for storage


Ray Gans works as a Community Manager for an open source software vendor in the SF Bay Area and loves apps, wine & cheese and boardgames. He bought his first Mac in 1984 and has been one of the Apple faithful ever since. You can catch him on the TMA forums as Aeaea.

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