Lifesort is a new Dutch startup aiming to bridge the gap between the desktop and the cloud with a file organisation system that is the same whether you use it on your computer, your phone or in a browser. We’ve been given a preview of the service and we’re certainly intrigued.
Launching first for Windows, the app sits on the left-hand side of the desktop and acts as an alternative to the standard Explorer. Storage is divided into ‘environments’ – Personal, Professional and Public – and beyond that users can specify ‘Categories’ to organise their files further.
There are some nice touches like a tabbing interface for folders, and visual previews of files as you roll over categories. If you’re security conscious, you can ‘lock’ files, folders and environments. This password protects, encrypts and relocates the information.
The really interesting thing about Lifesort though, is that this interface extends to the Web, where a browser-based version of your files can be found (syncing as many or as few of your desktop files as you like). This will be extended to a mobile version too, giving you access to files on the go.
While you may ask, “Why shouldn’t I just use Dropbox?”, Lifesort’s approach is actually a nice, clean alternative that keeps your file system intact wherever you go. It has support for other cloud storage services like S3 and Dropbox built-in though, if you want it.
A social dimension to the service allows you to share files with contacts. Your contacts will require Lifesort to receive the files but once set up, new shared files appear as a blinking exclamation mark in the interface. These can then be accepted or rejected by the receiver.
Lifesort is launching first on Windows in the UK on 30 March, although other countries and operating systems will follow, including OSX, iPhone and iPad. The service is free, with 2GB of cloud storage. The company plans to make money by charging for additional online space and by offering add-on features at a price.
In all, this looks like an interesting hybrid of online and offline file management. We’ll be giving the service a hands on look as soon as possible.