Originally available on Barnes & Noble’s NOOK Apps – discontinued in late 2012.

Before Dropbox and Box (then Box.net) released free apps for Barnes & Noble’s Android-based NOOK tablets, drop2sync connected NOOK devics to a Dropbox or Box account. It could manually or automatically copy media files (eBooks, documents, photos, music, and video) to the user’s NOOK device from the cloud, eliminating the confusing and messy wired USB connection that was previously necessary.

Drop2sync included extensive user help including a step-by-step setup wizard and a powerful help and troubleshooting system.

Key challenges and learning:

  • Unifying disparate cloud service APIs and SDKs to encapsulate service-dependent code required some creativity (one was synchronous and the other asynchronous) but was doable.
  • Helping nontechnical users deal with variety of network connectivity and device issues required really good in-app help, but I found that many of my customers emailed for technical support anyway.
  • Trying to sell a paid app against a free app with a different business model didn’t work. Once the DropBox app was released, customers reacted negatively to my app even thought the DropBox app was manual and required sharing everything or nothing.
  • The ability to decide to stop doing something – in this case deciding to pull an app rather than invest more than I can get back in updates and support – is a very useful skill.

Drop2sync is no longer available, but you can still watch the video. It’s classic 2011 fun. 🙂

Watch it now on YouTube.