Sharpcast’s SugarSync, an application that synchronizes data across desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones, and even televisions, is rolling out a a few features designed to make the service more interactive and social. The idea behind SugarSync is that it allows you to back-up any kind of digital file, including videos, spreadsheets, photos and documents, in the cloud and access it from virtually anywhere via a variety of devices. You can read our reviews of SugarSync here and here.
Syncing is becoming a popular technology trend as people split up their digital lives across devices and the Web and are looking to the cloud to enable this across devices. Apple offers syncing through its MobileMe service. There is also competition from Windows Live Mesh from Microsoft, which won a Crunchie for best technology innovation earlier this year. Startups Dropbox and Mozy also provide popular syncing services in the cloud.
SugarSync is stepping up to the plate by trying to add more interactive features. The service has improved folder sharing, letting users share files with anyone in their Gmail, Hotmail, AOL or Yahoo Mail contact lists. Users will also be able to directly upload photos stored in SugarSync to Facebook, with functionality for additional social networks to be rolled out in the near future.
SugarSync is also trying to get users to promote the services by increasing the size of their accounts for free if the user refers someone to open a new account. Users can refer others automatically by sharing a SugarSync folder with them or by sending an invitation through Facebook or Twitter. SugarSync offers and free and paid service, with prices ranging from $25 to $250 a year depending on storage size. SugarSync is also enhanced the interface of its free mobile applications for Blackberry, Apple iPhone, and iPod Touch.
SugarSync, which raised funding earlier this year, doesn’t release data on how many users the service has but did tell us that since its launch, more than 1 billion files have been backed up and synced to SugarSync, with 550 terabytes of total data backed up and synced in SugarSync’s cloud. If SugarSync continue to add useful features, like the ability to publish files to social networks and making mobile applications more user-friendly, the site could seriously compete with, and maybe surpass, the big guys, like Apple, and the innovative startups.