There are tons of apps out there that’ll help you take good pictures. Likewise, apps that can arrange those digital files in orderly fashion are just as voluminous in number – most of them backed by cloud storage that makes sharing your stuff relatively easy. The only problem is, most of those require intervention from a third-party source like Dropbox and Google Drive. If you prefer not to go through the extra steps and you don’t like the idea of passing your private digital files through someone else’s servers, there’s Shoot by BitTorrent.
Not an illegal file sharing application, Shoot is every bit legit. It enables you to transfer photos and videos from one mobile device to another, wirelessly. But unlike apps like SuperBeam, Shoot doesn’t require you to be dialed into the same Wi-Fi network. Also, since it leverages BitTorrent Sync’s peer-to-peer technology, you don’t have to worry about big files taking forever to move from one device to another. According to BitTorrent, file transfer is 16x quicker than uploading files to the cloud and testing gave us every bit of reason to believe this is no exaggeration.
Probably more importantly than speed, Shoot works across all major device platforms and lets Androids, iPhones and even Windows Phones send files back and forth to one another.
The application’s interface is sleek and simple, and operation is about as easy as it gets. When you launch Shoot, you’re shown two options: Send or Receive.
Tapping Send launches a gallery view of all of the photos and videos on your smartphone, broken into different sections by date. Files can also be separated by type, showing all photos and videos separately. You can preview individual files by tapping on the thumbnail images, which expands them into full-screen view. To create a batch of files to send, you simply long-tap the individual thumbnails or access a multi-select feature from the drop-down menu.
With each file you choose to send, the app adds up the cumulative size of the batch. When you’re finished choosing and arrow forward, Shoot generates a QR code. To receive files, your intended recipient has to scan the QR code by tapping the Receive option on the main Shoot interface on their mobile device. File transfer occurs from within the app itself and doesn’t work with just any QR code reader.
This highlights one of the app’s biggest limitations, which is the requirement of immediate proximity. Shoot is great for moving pics and videos quickly from one mobile device to another, but can’t be used to transfer files with anyone you’re not within whispering distance of – so if you’re looking for an app that’ll let you share photos with friends on the other side of town, keep looking.
Installation of Shoot is free, but use beyond the first three file transfers requires a $1.99 in-app purchase to continue being able to send. The purchase is a one-time per-platform fee, which means that when you pay on your Android smartphone you can also use it on your Android tablet or any other device under your account running the same OS. There’s no limit on the number of files that you can receive, so if all you plan to do is receive files you’ll never have to pay a dime.
Shoot is available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices. Android users will need to be running 4.0 and up. iOS users will need 8.0 or later, and the app works with Windows Phone 8.1.