Jun 16 AT 11:41 AM Anthony Domanico 37 Comments

File-sharing apps smackdown: Dropbox vs. Zumodrive

My first official Android App Smackdown as an Android and Me staffer will be pitting two cloud file sharing apps – Dropbox and Zumodrive – against each other to see which is worthy of being called THE file sharing app for Android. We will focus on the initial setup on your PC, and how well each app handles documents, pictures, and music.

Setting up files to share from your PC

Both Dropbox and Zumodrive come with PC applications to allow you to share files between your PC and Android device, but which one does the job the best?

Setting up my computer’s Zumodrive was both easy and intuitive, facilitated by Zumodrive’s tight integration with the Windows operating system. Simply right-click on the file or folder you want to access, and click “Link to Zumodrive.” The folder is now linked with your Zumodrive for easy access. Folders and files you’ve chosen to link will have a cloud on the bottom of the icon. Sharing in Zumodrive is simply a breeze.

Setting up files in Dropbox was also relatively simple, but wasn’t quite as intuitive and integrated as Zumodrive. Dropbox operates as a folder that you can drag and drop files into for sharing. This will remove them from the location they were stored on your hard drive and place them in the Dropbox Folder. It still gets the job done, but I don’t like the idea of having to physically move files on my computer.

Overall, setup is fairly easy no matter which client you choose, but Zumodrive wins this category because of how easy it is to set up files to share.

Winner: ZumoDrive

Accessing files from your Android phone

As a businessman by day, having access to my files wherever I go borders on necessity. As such, the first real test pits how well the Dropbox and ZumoDrive Android apps handle accessing documents.

Both Dropbox and Zumodrive make accessing linked documents very easy. Provided you have some type of office program on your phone, simply click a file in either the Dropbox or Zumodrive app, and it opens right up allowing you to view word documents, spreadsheets, powerpoint, and PDF files (dependent on which office suite you have). I am currently using the premium version of Documents to Go, and can only guarantee how well each program works with this office suite. If you use a different office program and have problems, please let us know in the comments so we can contact the developers.

The one advantage Dropbox has over Zumodrive is that when you open a document in Dropbox, the file retains its filename, whereas Zumodrive renames it to a string of numbers. Hardly a dealbreaker since you can always rename the file, but it’s a slight annoyance.

Both programs make it very easy to view linked files, but Dropbox wins this category by an eyelash.

Winner: Dropbox

Dropbox and Zumodrive both utilize the Android gallery to access linked pictures, but Dropbox actually saves the pictures onto your SD card so they remain in your gallery (even after you uninstall the application). This is a very handy feature that allows you to easily sync your picture folder on your personal computer with your Android phone so you can easily show off your pictures on the go.

This integration with the gallery is where Dropbox truly sets itself apart and propels it to the winner of the picture category.

Winner: Dropbox

The music category is the one that has the biggest potential. Imagine being able to share your iTunes folder on your computer and being able to play it right from your Android device. It is the music category where Zumodrive really shines. Zumodrive has its own built-in music player with notifications that tell you what’s playing. I really like the inclusion of a music player in Zumodrive, and it feels like it was just made for Android.

Contrast this experience with Dropbox, which would either force close or playback would be very choppy every time I tried to launch a song. Now, that could be a fluke and the music player could work for you, but I think I can safely assume that if one person is having problems, others are likely to have problems too.

Winner: Zumodrive

Application Look & Feel

Dropbox and Zumodrive both feel really well put together. Most things seem to just work, with the obvious exception of launching the music player in Dropbox. Overall though, Zumodrive’s UI simply feels more polished than Dropbox.

Winner: Zumodrive


Zumodrive and Dropbox both offer 2gb of storage for free, and offer more storage for a monthly fee. Detailed pricing info can be found at Zumodrive and Dropbox.


Well folks, it seems Zumodrive wins by a very slim margin. Both Dropbox and Zumodrive are revolutionary apps that provide access to all of your content on the go. Though neither are perfect, they both do their jobs fairly well and excel in different areas. I encourage you to try both of these apps out for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments.

Dropbox Mainscreen Dropbox Music Sadface Dropbox Picture viewer Zumodrive file structure Zumodrive music player Zumodrive music tab Zumodrive picture view

Both Dropbox and Zumodrive should be available for all Android versions on the Android market.  If you are having problems, please let us know in the comments.

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • http://Website Soli

    SugarSync anyone?

    • http://Website brdz

      I love SugarSync

      • http://www.aol.com jay

        sugarsync is nothing compared to dropbox. they don’t even have a freaking ipad app.

    • http://Website HelpMeHelpU

      I like Zumo Drive but the space gets used up quickly help me help you get extra space its a win win. http://zumo.cc/dr/dir/6ogZGJkZ

      Prefer Sugar Sync get 500mb of extra space https://www.sugarsync.com/referral?rf=yq0res3opjsi

  • http://insight.pinkonbrown.org Philippe Fenderson

    But if you’re on a Linux system – or most anything else but Windows – Dropbox far outdoes Zumodrive. It integrates tightly with with Nautilus, which is used by a large number of distros, as well as just being able to run a daemon for people without Nautilus.

    • http://Website Tony

      I agree, lack of linux support kills zumo drive and that should be mentioned in the article and imo pushes the upper hand back to dropbox..

    • http://Website helpme helpyou

      You can get an extra 250mb of dropbox space and help me get extra space too. http://db.tt/XJvOZy1

  • jotarun

    How about just use both services and enjoy the 4GB space :)

    • http://Website imtbone

      My thoughts EXACTLY! Especially since Zumo handle music so much better. Music on one, pics on the other … :0)

  • http://Website Hani


    For me Dropbox is better ,,, maybe I’m being paranoid here, but I don’t like the close integration of Zumodrive with windows ,,, I feel that Dropbox is well contained on its dedicated folder so any security preach will effect only that folder ,,, where in Zumodrive I cant trust its ability to share any folder in my HDD..

    • http://Website Hani

      I meant “breach” ,,, :)

  • http://Website Victor

    I would like to see a review that includes SugarSync.

  • http://Website ThomasT

    Looks like ZumoDrive now has Linux support in beta. I like Dropbox a lot, but find its pricing too inflexible – I’m tempted to try Zumo or SugarSync because of the ability to get something between 2 GB and 50 GB for less than $10/mo. Until now, lack of Linux support (which I use sometimes at home) has been the dealbreaker for those two.

  • http://Website Vladimir Kelman

    Please include SugarSync in your analysis!

  • http://Website Pol

    Additional 250mb per invite on dropbox for free :D

  • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

    All these storage services really do is charge you waaaay to much to store things because they’ve got a fancy app that makes storing/moving things easier. I wish someone would make a distributable app that I could run on my own server, using my own (already paid-for) space.

    Is there anything like that?

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      Pffft… and not be able to exploit you for hard earned money? doubtful.

    • http://Website Eric

      Check out HomePipe. It runs as a server on your PC and there’s a client in the Marketplace. It allows remote access to your PC’s files and you can open files and stream music as well as transfer files back and forth. It’s an amazing piece of software and the best part is that it’s free. I know you can add multiple PC’s but I just haven’t tried that yet. I’ll get on that tonight though. It’s Windows and Mac compatible only as far as I can tell but perhaps you could run it in WINE on Linux. Just throwing it out there.

      • http://pryvateid.tumblr.com Dave

        I am so gonna try that, thanks :D

  • http://www.nintendolife.com Damien McFerran

    Mr Scruff! You win.

  • http://www.peorparaelsol.com/ KATREyuk

    I strongly disagree
    Zumodrive maybe looks better
    But dropbox has enhaced funcionalities and works better,
    I’ve tried both in 3 Androids and Dropbox is a clear winner
    Anyway, is good have options :)

  • http://brykins.blogspot.com brykins

    Well, as I already run Cerberus FTP server on my (Windows) desktop PC, with a DynaDNS dynamic IP address mapper, and AndFTP on my phone, I have access to EVERY ONE of my files from anywhere I have internet access.

    What I really want to see from Dropbox (or someone else) is a true sync between my desktop and my handheld of a sub-set of files. Dropbox ought to be able to have flag set on a directory to sync with the handheld, instead of simply fetching file as needed. Eg – a .txt file I have on my desktop ought to be editable on the PC or on the handheld and instantly updated on the other.

    • http://wedesignapps.com/register Christopher Chance

      I completely agree with brykins. Drop Box need to sync all the sub folders too. I wish they bring that feature in their next update.

  • http://wedesignapps.com/register Christopher Chance

    Clearly Drop Box is an excellent app currently in the market. I vote for Drop Box.
    Visit http://wedesignapps.com for submitting your own app ideas and get feedback from community.

  • http://Website XStray

    i use picasa for my pictures and it even integrates with the gallery on my phone

  • http://courierpostonline.com/ashhole evo4gfan

    Dropbox did not delete my files from the their original location when I moved them to the cloud.

    I moved some photos from my iPhoto master gallery and and some songs from the desktop of my Mac mini and placed them in my box in the clouds. Then i created a slideshow and a playlist on my EVO.

    And back at my Mac mini, those photos and songs were available not only through the cloud, but also at their ordiginal locations.

    I didn’t do anything special to make this happen.

  • http://Website vick

    i have tried both.. an found zumo drive to be a top notch application.
    apart from all other features…sharing pictures and music is a breeze in Zumo drive where i struggled in Drop Box..
    Zumo Drive is a clear Winner!!

  • http://Website Anonysharer

    Another very cool Android file sharing app is called SendSpace, its in the market. Its especially great for one on one sharing like sending your girlfriend a photo or video you just took…

  • http://Website Shugs81

    there’s two drop box apps… the non official dropbox is the one to use cause it actually saves the files on your sd card!!

  • http://Website Cas

    I use services as these to keep all my files in sync between different computers I work on (including my smartphone). For me, Dropbox works the best in terms of ease of use, reliability and privacy. Personally, I don’t care about streaming music from my desktop computer to my phone, so I’ve no opinion on whether Zumodrive is better for that.

  • http://frostwire.com Gubatron

    There’s also the first peer to peer file sharing network for Android as an alternative, and it can be quite more fun and social.

    FrostWire for Android

    Here are some screenshots and pictures if you don’t have the time to install it.

  • http://Website HelpMeHelpU

    Dropbox is great. However the while free the 2gb limitation can be used up quickly and the 50gb pricetag may be too steep for some. We can help each other out by using Dropbox’s referral system. Simply click sign up via this http://db.tt/XJvOZy1 and both you and I will receive an extra 250mb of storage up to 8gb total by using the referral program.

  • http://www.estudaetal.com Bruno

    Do you know this service?

    it is a portuguese service of online storage.

  • http://Website nick099

    Tried them both for business and finally found an app called FileLinx Pro. It simply connects to my PC and I can see the whole directory and pull any file I want, to either my tablet or my phone. I can save any file anywhere in my computer’s hard drive from my Android. It connects up to 10 PC’s with the touch of a button. The pc-software is free. Best of all, no “Cloud.” It connects via LAN and WAN. Easy setup. Like having my own “Cloud” for cheap money. Pretty good support staff…very friendly. I asked a lot of questions before I purchased.

  • CC

    Dropbox for sure… but the best for me is sugarsync….

    i run both dropbox and sugarsync on my pc… and i think sugarsync is
    better thant dropbox…. highly recommended… not talking about other
    funtions, the space is 5GB

    PS: If you wish to join sugarsync, feel free (if you wish so)
    to use my personal link to get an extra 500megas to your account (5,5GB)
    (… and yes i get 500megas also… but the good think is that for
    every person you recomend you get 500megas extra without any limit…
    very good indeed). The link is: