Swarmbit is a location and time-based cross-platform file sharing app for Android and iOS that lets users remotely share files from their devices with other app users over the web. Using Swarmbit, you can choose to share your data publicly (using your email address) as well as anonymously. In addition, you are in control of whom you wish to share your personal data with, for how long should the shared content remain valid, and the maximum radius (in terms of area) from where shared data can be accessed. Shared files are stored in the form of personalized folders on the Swarmbit cloud from where they can be accessed anytime you like. The app supports importing and sharing content from Dropbox and SugarSync; a feature that makes Swarmbit an even more valuable file sharing tool.
Needless to say, data shared on a temporary basis (w.r.t time or distance) must be retrieved before the validity period expires, or the recipient steps out of the user-defined area. Bothered about the security of data? There’s a password-protection mechanism included, too, that helps secure your data from being accessed publicly. Initially exclusive to the iTunes App Store, the official Swarmbit app is now also available in the Android Market.
The app’s file sharing concept could come handy in situations where you want to instantly share a bunch of files with your buddies in a public place (preferably one with a Wi-Fi hotspot). All you need to do is open the app, create a new Swarmbit folder, fill it up with the required files, and protect it using a password. Although any user who has the app installed on their devices can see the shared folder on the map, only those with the password can access its content.
The app can be particularly useful in cases where one wishes to share the snaps of a recently concluded event only with its participants. Just create a (public) folder, push all images into it, specify the appropriate radius and time period for the shared folder, and let everyone download the images to their devices. Do you have to be there till the sharing is completed? Not at all! Since all data is stored on the cloud, you don’t have to wait for the process to complete.
When launched, the app opens to a map that displays your current location (using GPS), and placemarks for all the folders shared via Swarmbit (if any). Provided you have the privileges to access the shared content, all you need to do is tap the desired folder, and download its contents to your device. Data downloaded via Swarmbit can be found in the /mnt/sdcard/swarmbit/files/ folder in local storage.
Now on to the sharing bit. In order to share content from your device, you’ll first need to define a new Swarmbit folder. For this, tap the placemark signifying your current location, and hit Create Folder. On the screen that follows, provide the Folder name, Radius, Timeout (expiry period) and availability (whether you wish to keep it public or private). If you choose to make it a private folder, you can secure it using a desired Unlock PIN. From the same screen, you can choose a custom folder Color and Icon. Once done with that, hit the folder icon at the top-left of the screen to create the folder.
Now that the folder is created, and displayed on map, you can start filling it up with required data. For this, just tap the folder, and hit the ‘+’ icon. The screen that follows provides you with multiple sources to and from where you may upload and import your content. In this regard, there are separate segments for your Gallery, cloud and locally stored content.
For each shared file/folder, you can view comments by other users, or provide your own. The total number of comments are displayed alongside every folder as well as each individual file included in it.
Tapping the Menu button on the app’s homescreen reveals several options that let you manage your Swarmbit Profile, check all the files downloaded from the cloud, access the app’s Settings screen and quit the app.
From within the Settings screen, you can authorize the app to access your Dropbox and/or SugarSync data, specify the default Radius for shared content, and the default level of quality for uploaded images.
Like its iOS counterpart, Swarmbit for Android too is available for free.
Download Swarmbit for Android
Update: The app is not longer available in the Google Play Store.