ExpanDrive 7 review: Number seven not all lucky for Mac cloud storage utility

By the time an software reaches model 7.0, customers anticipate fewer whiz-bang new options as builders concentrate on refining core performance and required compatibility updates. The query then turns into, has the software program improved sufficient to justify shopping for an improve to the newest and biggest model, usually on an annual foundation?

Such is the case with ExpanDrive, a venerable macOS utility that mounts cloud and network-attached storage within the Finder so you possibly can kind of use them like locally-attached volumes. Despite a current concentrate on eye sweet, it’s what’s below the hood that makes the newest replace price a glance.

expandrive7 file browser IDG

The built-in file browser in ExpanDrive 7 makes it a snap to make use of a number of cloud or network-attached volumes with out mounting them on the desktop.

New look, new issues

ExpanDrive 6 ditched the normal compact consumer interface in favor of a free-floating, expandable window opened by clicking a well-known menu bar icon that clutters the highest of your display. The revamped consumer interface launched a built-in file browser permitting customers to view, obtain, rename, transfer, or delete with out mounting companies within the Finder. There’s even shareable hyperlink assist for companies like Google Drive.

ExpanDrive 7 is an iterative improve, however a step again in a number of methods. Once a connection is mounted, for instance, there’s no option to edit it with out unmounting. That might not sound like a giant deal till a connection turns into unresponsive resulting from spotty web or service outage. When that occurs, there’s no option to disable it, wanting power quitting and manually eradicating the offending service from a choice file.

Even when the edit choice is out there, you possibly can’t modify the width of the Connections pane, so volumes with lengthy nicknames overlap buttons on the right-hand facet. Gone is the “Check for Updates” button in Settings—customers must belief the automated updater or allow “Show in Dock” to manually provoke this selection from the ExpanDrive menu.

Although the brand new UI is extra visually pleasing, there’s little in the best way of visible suggestions when one thing goes flawed. Case in level: FTP, SFTP, and WebDAV servers unable to attach show an countless “Mounting Drive” message, quite than any indication of what is perhaps taking place.

Faster, extra versatile

On the plus facet, ExpanDrive 7 is quicker than ever. The earlier model boasted as much as a 500 p.c enhance in switch speeds because of a multi-threading StrongSync engine, and the newest version ratchets issues up but once more to quick and livid ranges, significantly with bigger recordsdata. Best of all, shopping distant connections within the Finder is lastly as peppy as accessing native onerous drives.

Such efficiency enhancements can largely be attributed to clever caching, and ExpanDrive 7 addresses one longtime limitation by permitting customers to alter the placement of such recordsdata to any quantity, quite than consuming valuable inner sources. The software program additionally performs good with…


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