updated 10:20 pm EDT, Mon March 21, 2011
Hands-on with Gogobeans for Android and iPhone
We had the opportunity to get a quick test of a new service from Gogobeans at the ShowStoppers event at CTIA on Monday night. The Android, iPad, and Android app gives you a cloud locker, much akin to Dropbox, but is both more flexible and more interesting to use. It can not only share media but also shares what would normally be a URL; a contact, a website or even an App Store or Android Market title becomes a "bean" that you can push to a friend, who downloads it from your locker rather than from your device.
Rather than simply relying on a dry login system, Gogobeans works more like the well-known contact sharing app Bump in that data is shared between friends on the service. You don't have to be physically close for the transfer, however, and shaking is strictly optional. Founder Tony De Ruvo was clear that you could simply "bounce" content to someone else through traditional screen taps, and we suspect that's how most will go about it.
We liked what we saw from the app. It's visual, with a virtual shelf holding the various beans, but it tastefully avoids going for a cute look and focuses on using the look for navigating more quickly. We'd add that you have a good deal of control over who to share a bean with: you can push it to a pre-made group as well as just one person.
We could see it being the most useful for quick file exchanges and app recommendations. It's common to want to send small files like PDFs between users, and those with close-knit groups could use it often. Apps also get cleaned up here; it's possible to share apps from other services, but the clarity could be useful here. The caveat is mostly just the emphasis on friends; it's good for people who regularly exchange content, but less effective for the sort who shares with less familiar contacts.
Users can sign up for the app for free today. BlackBerry and Windows apps are due later on in the year. Some content sharing, however, is possible even on as little as a WAP browser for a basic feature phone.