Dropzone is a handy tool that acts as your sidekick that can handle the common tasks you perform on your computer in only a fraction of the time. With its intuitive drag and drop interface, Dropzone allows you to automate repetitive tasks with ease.
For those unfamiliar with Dropzone, the app acts as a shortcut to a lot of common tasks like sharing, uploading, and moving files. If I want to share a file through my public Dropbox folder for instance, I can simply drag the file to Dropzone and drop the file onto my Dropbox “destination,” whereupon the file is uploaded to my public Dropbox folder, and the link to the file is copied to my clipboard.
Over a year later, developer John Winter has released a new 2.0 update to the productivity tool, introducing a Path-inspired “Circles” interface.
Path, the mobile social networking app for iOS, is well known for its incredible UI. One of my favorite features is the animated clock that adjusts as you scroll through your news feed.
When sharing an update to your Path, you click a plus icon on the bottom-right and a radial menu “rolls” out. For an example, check out the Path menu recreated in CSS3 by Victor Coulon.
In Dropzone, Circles incorporates the same user interaction. Here’s a video of it in action:
After having played with the app for the last couple of days, I can’t say I’m completely in love with Circles. In previous versions of Dropzone, you would drag your files to either the Dropzone icon sitting in your menu bar or your dock. If I had to choose, I would stick with dragging items to the Dropzone icon in my dock, which unfortunately is no longer an option in the current update.
Dragging items to the menu bar icon is tougher considering the clutter of Mac app icons sitting there and the smaller target area. Circles improves on this gap, but having actions spread out makes it difficult to find what I’m looking for.
What’s in my Dropzone?
I currently have four destinations in my Dropzone. There are plenty more to choose from, but these are the ones I’ve come to use frequently.
Dropbox – As mentioned earlier, the Dropbox destination lets you easily share files on your Dropbox public folder and automatically adds the shareable link to your clipboard.
Install Application – I install a bunch of apps regularly and I need a fast, clean way of handling this process. This destination does exactly what it advertises, and even removes the DMG file to your trash after the application has been installed. Less clutter, more breathing room.
Move to Desktop – On my Mac, my Desktop is essentially my temporary holding grounds for all the stuff I work on everyday. Having to close or move open windows to get move files to my Desktop is a pain, but this destination makes it a breeze.
Compress Image – This last destination is not built-in, but a custom one I created. ImageOptim is a image compression utility I use for posting photos in my blog posts. By making it into a destination, I can simply drag and drop a photo or group of photos onto the Compress Images destination, and ImageOptim automatically launches and compresses the photos accordingly.
While I’m not a huge fan of the Circles feature, hopefully it will grow on me. As it is, Dropzone has saved me endless hours with its handy shortcuts and intuitive drag-and-drop. The learning curve was also very short, which is one of the most important things I look for in a great app.
You can purchase and download Dropzone from the Mac App Store for $13.99 (nope, not exactly a 99-cent impulse purchase).