We covered Quik.io’s launch last month and noted that it allows you to send photos, movies, music, and documents from your computer to your iPad instantly without having to be on the same Internet connection and without having to use a wire. In effect, it is like Dropbox but without the upload time.
The Quik.io iPad app, which has so far received a rating of 4.5 stars from only 19 reviews in the App Store, is useful for temporarily accessing media from your home computer without having to actually be sitting in front of that computer. Because I mainly use my iPad at home on the couch, I’ve found it useful for “lean back” experiences. However, Quick.io is set to become considerably more useful and agile with the addition of the iPhone. For instance, it may well end up being widely used by people who take public transport a lot.
Apps like Quik.io are likely to become more useful as the cloud becomes more prevalent and device memory becomes less central to the mobile experience. Thanks to cloud-based services such as Dropbox, Pandora, Gmail, and Google Drive, there’s no longer such a strong need for users to have ample memory on their mobile devices. In that case, Quik.io allows users to get around the problem of not being able to store many movies or albums on their iPhones or iPads by instead letting them store them as temporary downloads, or stream them direct from their home computers – even if those computers are in a completely different country. As long as the Quik.io app is open on all devices, they’re good to go.
Another benefit of the app is that it automatically converts video and audio files so they’re compatible with the iPhone or the iPad.
Quik.io founder and CEO Michael Chen says that the iPhone app launch is a step towards the startup’s ultimate goal of sharing content from mobile to mobile. For now, users can only stream media from their computers to the iPad and the iPhone, and share that media among friends with the QuikSend instant messenger. When the mobile-to-mobile function comes online at some point early next year, however, it will make media sharing more seamless and instant than most current methods, which mostly revolve around Dropbox, email, or MMS.
Google’s NFC-powered Android Beam is a more friction-free and instant way of sharing media than Quik.io, but for that to work the two devices need to be so close to each other they’re almost touching. With Quik.io, it wouldn’t matter if the two devices were on opposite sides of the world. Chen likens Quik.io to being a virtual FedEx, or a USB stick minus the hardware. However, Quik.io is not yet available for Android – that’s another thing that’s in the “coming soon” basket.
Chen says the one-month-old app has so far done pretty well in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and in France, where it is in the top-10 free iPad apps in the “utilities” category, according to App Annie. (The app is free for a limited time.) It is, however, clearly struggling to get attention in the US, where it fails to register in the top-100 free iPad apps in the “utilities” category. The company is also paying a lot of attention to China, even though it is waiting to sort out some server issues before it launches the iPhone app there. In sum, Quik.io clearly has some substantial marketing and user acquisition challenges ahead. If it can’t quickly and clearly differentiate itself from the likes of Dropbox and even iTunes, it faces a risk of being lost in the clutter of the App Store.
Chen and his two co-founders, Xumin Wu and Budi Sutardja, all worked together at Cisco before starting Quik.io in Mountain View in April 2011. They have raised $1.28 million in seeding funding for the company from Singapore-based Enspire Capital, and a number of angel investors.