WebSharing: access files/music/photos from a web browser on WiFi

Discussion in 'App Announcements' started by tliebeck, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. tliebeck
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    tliebeck New Member

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    Hello all,

    I'm the developer of WebSharing, just discovered this site from looking at our server's referrer logs as a few people were talking about it over in the Motorola Phone Portal thread.

    Please feel free to ask any questions about it here. Feature suggestions/questions are very much welcome.

    Thanks
    --Tod

    [​IMG]

    And now for the standard app description/info...
    ================================================

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    More screenshots available @ android.nextapp.com

    WebSharing enables you to wirelessly transfer files to and from your phone/device using only a web browser. You can play and manage music, view your photographs, and manage files on your device using your WI-FI network.

    • File Browser: Use the file browser to upload and download content to and from your device. The file browser also provides file management features including creating folders, and renaming and deleting items. A multiple file upload feature (available on browsers that support Flash) allows you to quickly upload many files to your device at the same time.
    • Music: A built-in music player (playback requires Flash) enables you to stream music from your device to your computer. The music tab features the ability to browse by album, artist, and playlist. Tracks can be uploaded and downloaded wirelessly, with the capability to send/receive multiple tracks at once.
    • Photos: The photo browser lets you display and download photos from your device on your computer.
    • Videos: You can use the video player to watch movies recorded from your phone.
    • Status: A status monitor lets you see the current state of your phone, including its battery charge state, disk usage, processor utilization and wireless signal strength.
    • User Control: Two configurable user accounts, "owner" and "guest", allow fine-grained control over what content is accessible through WebSharing. The owner account can see all content on the device, while the guest account can only view certain items that you specify. Each account has its own password and can be quickly enabled or disabled from the main screen of the application.
    • Coming Soon: In future releases, support for creating and editing playlists, and displaying photo slideshows will be added. USB and WebDAV support are under development as well.

    The application runs as a service on your phone, freeing you to perform other tasks with the phone while it is in use. An indicator will appear in the notification bar when WebSharing is active.

    WebSharing does not send any information over the Internet to NextApp or third party servers. All communication is made directly from your computer to your phone and vice-versa. There is no monthly fee or online registration associated with the product.

    The full version is available for $2.99 on the market. A "Lite" version with only the file transfer feature is available for free. The Lite version is however quite functional and does not contain ads/nagging.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  2. tliebeck
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    tliebeck New Member

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    With regard to USB support, it's possible with current versions but is still very much beta quality. I only have an automated USB-based client available for the Mac at the present time. Plan is to provide similar items for Windows and (Ubuntu) Linux.

    To make it work, you'll need to have "USB Debugging" enabled on your device. It can be found in the settings menu under Application settings->Development->USB Debugging.

    The Mac version can be downloaded here: http://android.nextapp.com/download/WebSharingUSB.dmg Just install the app wherever you'd like (e.g. your "Applications" folder) and double-click to start it. Device should be plugged into USB first. An Intel Mac is required, PPCs are not supported.

    If you have a Windows or Linux machine, you can still use the USB feature if you're brave and have the Android SDK set-up. Directions for setting up the SDK with support for communicating with devices are available here: Developing on a Device | Android Developers This is not trivial to do unless you're someone who's written Android software before.

    To manually start USB sharing, run the following commands in a terminal/DOS window...
    Code:
    adb shell am start -a nextapp.websharing.action.START_DIRECT -n nextapp.websharing.r1/nextapp.websharing.HomeActivity
    adb forward tcp:2112 tcp:2112
    
    ...and then start your favorite browser with the URL: http://localhost:2112/?p=auto

    If you're on Linux and want to create a quick script to start WebSharing and then start your browser, try this:

    Code:
    adb shell am start -a nextapp.websharing.action.START_DIRECT -n nextapp.websharing.r1/nextapp.websharing.HomeActivity
    adb forward tcp:2112 tcp:2112
    sleep 2
    xdg-open http://localhost:2112/?p=auto
    
    (If your machine doesn't have xdg-open to launch the default browser...just replace that bit with "firefox" or "google-chrome" or whatever.)

    Apologies for it being such a chore on Linux/Windows at the moment. A Windows client is under development with an Microsoft installer package, and I hope to provide .debs for Ubuntu soon as well.
  3. eebvending
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    eebvending Member

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    +1 for this method

    Though I had some issues at first that I now have concluded came from a pre-existing non-related issue that caused a sdcard issue.

    Using it again and it has worked great. Fast transfer in both directions.
  4. bastosero
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    bastosero New Member

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    Is this an RDP app or similar to it? Also, we can't use it at all over 3G?
  5. therock
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    therock New Member

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    I have been running the app for a few weeks and its nice. I keep a shortcut on the desktop and just activate it and hit the link.
    No errors, force closes and very clean. I run Firefox.
  6. elowe65
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    elowe65 New Member

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    I've been running it now for about 2 weeks and love it....

    If I had to change anything, i wish the interface on how all files (mainly the photos and videos) can be viewed/sorted.. When working with those, it'd be nice to be able to change the view to details and have the options of sorting by date... some of that option is there in the files tab (ie view as list or icons)..

    Overall I am extremely pleased with Websharing as I came from using Files Lite on the Itouch..
  7. tliebeck
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    tliebeck New Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    It's not an RDP app. With WebSharing the phone acts as a server, and then you connect to it from your computer's web browser to manage files/media on your phone.

    It's the inverse of many of the FTP/SMB/SSH apps on the market, which let you connect to servers to copy files to your Droid. The basic idea behind our approach is that it's easier to use your computer to manage files on your phone than vice-versa. (And I don't mean to knock the various FTP/SMB/SSH apps on the market, some of them are very well done and quite useful.)

    3G access is a big maybe. As far as I can tell, it comes down to where you live. In Southern California, it works perfectly, I've done tests where I've had people upload files to a phone that is moving down a freeway, and it seems to have no problem. On the other hand, people in the Eastern US aren't able to use the feature at all. That said, I don't have enough data to suggest that the West can do it and the East can't...it just happens that I've only had complaints from people in NY, PA, and GA. 99% of users will never file such a bug report though, even when they should.

    3G access is disabled by default because of this, but you can turn it on and try it by checking the Settings->Network Settings->Cellular access checkbox. Then make sure you're not connected to a WiFi network, and start WebSharing. You can also press Menu, then "Diagnostics", with it running on 3G, and it'll test whether it's publicly accessible or not (it's the very last test). Feel free to grab WebSharing Lite and try it for yourself.
  8. therock
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    therock New Member

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    I live 30 miles north of Atlanta and the 3G thing is not working here.
  9. samredman
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    samredman New Member

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    This is a most remarkable app. I got the paid version (only 2.99) and it is absolutely amazing. For me it works perfectly with either a WIFI connection and with 3g (which I use when I am not in a WIFI access situation).

    Athough they warn that the 3g connection doesn't work everywhere, it has worked perfectly everytime from here in Dallas. So, anyone from anywhere (a couple of times I have given the guest access password to a couple of people in my business who are located in other citites to get some files) using any browser. They were able view and download files from my phone and when I gave one person the owner password (be careful about that), he was able to upload files to me directly to my phone (amazing, but true). Maybe the WebSharing people (Nextapp) have just perfected it from those earlier 3g cautions... because it seems flawless (maybe it is just because it is coming from the Dallas system).

    This a truly wonderful app... allowing complete syncing via wifi (and in my case 3g as well). There's no cable, no mounting or unmounting of the sdcard. You (or your guest) access the sdcard directly from your remote computer and you still have access to it using a file manager from the phone at the same time. When a guest on 3g uploaded a file for me it appeared in the sdcard root and I just used my filemanager (I use Androzip) to move it to the folder which I preferred.

    I really like this one.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  10. tliebeck
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    tliebeck New Member

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    WebSharing 1.5.0 has been released. The Lite version should be updated as well in a couple days.

    This release adds beta-level support for WebDAV. It has been tested with Windows 7, XP, Mac OS X 10.5/6, and Ubuntu Linux 9.10 on Droid, Nexus One, and G1. Please report any issues if you have trouble. You'll need to manually enable WebDAV in the settings until the feature becomes official.

    Additionally a "Connectivity Monitor" has been added, which will alert you if WebSharing is active and the wireless connection is interrupted. This feature works by periodically pinging your WiFi router. I've seen many cases where a phone will indicate it is connected to a WiFi network (i.e., WiFi indicator is displayed), when it fact not connected.

    The web interface additionally adds support for context menus, i.e., you can right-click on files/photos/videos to access commonly used features.

    The UI has received some updates, with the "Help and "About" screens and home screen menu having been significantly overhauled.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  11. bradley975
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    bradley975 New Member

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    Just downloaded and bought WebSharing and I just have to echo previous comments. This application works as advertised. For me in Central Washington State the 3g coverage works as well. Great job on a great program. Well worth the money.
  12. therock
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    therock New Member

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    I have not received the update from 1.4.1(26)
  13. tliebeck
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    tliebeck New Member

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    Do you have the full version or the lite version? 1.5.0 is currently only out in the "full" item. I expect to release the Lite version early Monday morning.
  14. drummerq
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    drummerq New Member

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    have this app and love it. For some reason my droid wont connect with my comp. I was wondering if the paid version supported the uploading folders and not just files. if so you got my money.

    P.S. also use your task killer and that is just flawless, best UI ever
  15. tliebeck
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    tliebeck New Member

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    Thanks!

    The web-based front end to paid version has always had multiple *file* upload capability, but regrettably can't transfer folders. We use a Flash-based tool to accomplish this (SWFUpload). It replaces the standard browser file upload control in all the upload dialogs. The standard browser-based control will be used if Flash is unavailable (or if the user requests it via preferences).

    New in 1.5.0 is beta-level support for WebDAV, which will allow dragging and dropping of entire folders. WebDAV allows you to mount the phone on your desktop, much the way you would mount a network drive. When using WebDAV, the web browser interface isn't used at all. WebDAV support is only in the paid version as well.
  16. tliebeck
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    tliebeck New Member

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    1.5.0 is now out for the free version now as well. It doesn't include WebDAV, but does add the connectivity monitor, context menu capability, and improved UI elements.
  17. tliebeck
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    tliebeck New Member

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    1.5.1 is out (paid version). This release adds proper support for streaming MP4 audio/AAC files from your phone to your computer. Files downloaded from the iTunes music store should now be playable from WebSharing (the files must not be DRM-protected).
  18. therock
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    therock New Member

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    I have 1.5 and no sign of updating. Is there away it will auto check for updates?
  19. tliebeck
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    tliebeck New Member

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    Go to the Android market, press menu, then "Downloads".

    If it doesn't show up, try killing the market with a task manager and reopening.
  20. drummerq
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    drummerq New Member

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    just downloaded paid version, well worth it.

    I would like to see a song editor in the paid version that be sweet and make everything that much easier
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