I recently ordered a File Transporter as a Christmas gift for myself.

So yesterday, after a day of Christmas shopping and firewall reboots at the office, I finally had to chance to play with it a bit.

First impression: it’s smaller than I thought and it has the promise to be a solid product, although it’s not entirely there yet.

Setting up the device was pretty straightforward. I ordered a model without an internal drive, which meant I had to install my own hard drive. I ended up with a 1 TB Western Digital I ripped out of an external Iomega portable hard drive. A fast drive with decent cache, which I hope will give me the best speed. I was tempted to use an SSD, but storage won over speed.

Syncing my initial batch of data was surprisingly fast. I uploaded around 250 GB of data from my Mac, which took less then two hours. The process is equal to Dropbox, although the status icons on the folders are quite ugly and large. The promised Library folder is missing on my Mac also, so that’s something I still have to figure out…

Today I’m planning on syncing all Transporter Data back to my other Mac, so I can test the syncing part. Currently I still haven’t deleted any data from Dropbox yet, I want to test this thing thoroughly before deleting anything.

So in short, as a network drive for the Mac it lives up to its promises.

After installing the Transporter my girlfriend an I went out to the movies and while commuting I decided to test the iPhone app.
Two words: it sucks. The app is slow as hell, the interface looks like a web view and the toolbar at the bottom uses some custom UI-class with icons that are too close together, too small and not very responsive.

I also don’t get why the app seemingly doesn’t cache anything. It loads an unresponsive Transporter Library folder upon first load, it takes 5 seconds for the other folders to arrive, and it all responds rather slow.

The app feels like a hack, not a real product. Especially when compared to the Dropbox app and the flawless execution of the desktop syncing.

According to what I read on Twitter you can mount shares via SMB/CIFS. So I’m going to try using Readdle Documents and an SMB share and see how it goes.

All in all I’m quite impressed with the product. The Mac side seems solid and can totally replace Dropbox for me. The iOS side on the other side leaves a lot to be desired, but since their backend is good, it’s a matter of finding someone that can code the iOS app. Or they could create an API hook for apps like Documents and the like.

I’ll test the device some more the next few days, and hope to get a solution for all the questions posted in my previous post.