Bump 2/20/13 Discontinued 1/31/2014

You probably remember the commercial from this past fall where two people touch Samsung phones and transfer a playlist in front of a line of people waiting in line for the latest iPhone. The Bump app allows you to transfer files, photos, audio and video from your iOS device and better yet it works cross platform. That means you can ‘bump’ an iOS device with an Android device or even on the spacebar of your computer. (Android devices only bumps photos and not videos)

First things first, WHY? There are other solutions like drop box and the cloud. So, why use bump? Here’s one example: I take screenshots for my app reviews and have the need to transfer photos from my phone to my computer. I don’t want all my photos synced to the cloud and the free space is limited. I could use drop box, but I really don’t need these photos long term. I don’t want to upload them to drop box only to delete them in five minutes. I have been emailing photos to myself, which is slow and I can only attach one photo to each message. So, Bump is a perfect solution for my situation.  

Maybe you need to transfer something other than photos? Bump is an excellent app to transfer personal information. Your electronic ‘business card’ can be sent to someone else’s device with just a bump. No chance that someone mistypes and no need to spell out email addresses. You can also bump files. Android devices and your computer make selecting a file very easy because you can access your device folders. The iOS devices make it extremely cumbersome to select a file, and quite frankly not worth it. (You have to connect your iOS device to your computer & launch iTunes. By selecting the Bump app you can place files in the ‘file sharing’ area. Next time you want to transfer a file, as long as you previously placed it in the Bump folder, you can share it. Like I said, not worth it) As a bonus, Android devices even allow you to bump Apps from one device to another. I have not practiced the app transfer, so you’ll have to venture out on transferring an app on your own.  

Even with iOS devices files can be bumped from a computer. This is the method I would choose to get files onto my iOS device instead of using iTunes. Your computer will send a file to the last device that was bumped with it. That means a connection must be initially established.  I switched between an Android and iOS device and my computer was able to switch easily. I just needed to click ‘connect’ on my device to complete the transfer.

When I put Bump under the microscope and try to pick apart its weaknesses I came up with a few.

  • It only displays in portrait format, since its primary design was for phones. If you select multiple photos to send they are zipped into one file, so folder has to be unzipped, but that is a very minor (extra) step.
  • Video files are zipped also and have a 20mb file size limit. I was able to open a video and watch it, but because I have the free Quicktime player I could not save it. The bump site has a download button, but when I try to unzip the file I got an error. I suspect it was because of the way iOS names video files. (It includes the time, which has a colon, and during the extraction the file becomes corrupt) I recommend experimenting first for those of you wanting to transfer videos with iOS devices.
  • Messages cannot be bumped to a computer, only another mobile device.

You know what it does, but how does it work? When two devices, with the Bump app installed, are ‘bumped’ simultaneously information is transferred over the Internet. In addition to the app, there’s a smart matching algorithm running on their servers in the cloud. When the device ‘feels’ the bump, it sends the information you selected up to the cloud. A match is made and your information is transferred. Your devices don’t have to physically touch, but it does help with the synchronization of the bump.  When a device is ‘bumped’ with your computer you tap the space bar to trigger the computer side of the bump. Watch their

It’s important to know that a network connection is required for Bump to work. So, if a wi-fi signal is not available it will use your data plan to work. Also, location services must be turned on. This helps their servers match your devices by limiting the devices they have to check for the correct match. If you have any other questions about Bump. I recommend reading their FAQ’s: http://bu.mp/company/faq

Note: There's nothing to download to your computer but you need the Chrome, Firefox or Safari browser for your computer to use bump at this site: https://bu.mp/ (Internet Explorer is not compatible)

Download Bump for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bumptech.bumpga&hl=en

Downlaod Bump for iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bump/id305479724?mt=8

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