Bu.mp has been around for a while and it really is an extraordinary way to share information with other smartphone users (Android and iPhone). Seriously, just as the name implies, all you have to do is bump phones with another Bu.mp user and – presto! – you’re sharing contact info, photos, and app suggestions.
How Bu.mp Works
Bu.mp works in mysterious ways. I think they like it that way, you know, for business purposes. They do tell us that the information being shared is sent to their servers in the cloud where some kind of algorithms do their work to find out who you’re attempting to share with. I happen to think that there’s more magic going on; maybe they hired some wizards.
Getting Set Up
Getting started with Bu.mp is as simple as downloading and installing the app from the Google Play Store and inputting your contact card information. The fist time you load the app you’re asked for your contact info, and it even tries to guess what you’d want there by using the Google account your phone is synced with.
Changing the info is as easy as re-entering whatever you want. You can even add fields, like the URL field you can see in my profile above.
What’s All the Bumping About?
The app really is as easy as they say it is. Find another person using Bu.mp and you’ll be sharing everything from photos right down to app suggestions.
When you’re in the app, you’ll see tabs in a grey strip near the top of the screen. The tabs are labeled My card, Photos, App suggestions, and Contacts. Dragging back and forth will bring you from tab to tab.
Select whichever items you want to share and you’ll notice a blue ribbon appearing showing that you can bump when you’re ready to share. Then you gently bump your friend’s knuckles (while each holding your phone) to start the transfer.
Uploading Photos to Your Computer
One of the newer features added to Bu.mp is the ability to upload images directly to your computer just by bumping the keyboard. As it turns out, this unorthodox way of uploading photos really does make the process simpler. There’s no cables to connect and no other apps that need to be used in conjunction to make this magic work.
1. Get the Photos Ready Using the Bu.mp App
Make sure the app is open and you’re at the Photos tab. Select which photos you want to upload and you’re ready to go.
When you see the blue ribbon, you know you’re ready.
2. Get Your Computer Ready
On your computer, direct your web browser to http://bu.mp and you should see a screen showing the three step process.
3. Commence the Uploading!
Holding your phone firmly in your hand, gently tap the spacebar with your knuckle. Some magic happens and all of a sudden your images show up in the browser window!
At first I thought it was because both the computer and the phone were on the same Wi-Fi network but then I switched the phone to 3G and the results were the same. Something funny happens, that’s all I know, but the photos are there and it’s quick, easy, and apparently secure.
Share Those Photos!
Once you’ve got the images uploaded to the browser window, you can then share them. You can download the whole list of photos in one zip file, or individually if you’d prefer. You can also choose to receive a link which you can share with anyone you want.
Finally you can connect Bu.mp to your Facebook account for easy Facebook sharing.
Don’t forget to choose which level of sharing you want to allow Bu.mp to be able to to with your Facebook account.
Bu.mp is one of those apps where just watching it work gets oohs and aahs, yet at the same time it has an actual purpose. Rather than yet another app that does the same old thing but with a bell or a whistle attached, Bu.mp really does make sharing easier and faster.
There have been rumors of some people with some phones running into errors or crashes, but in my testing of it I had absolutely no issues. It does have a 4.0 rating out of 69,012 reviews in the Google Play Store and over 10,000,000 downloads, so it has been well vetted and has many happy users.
One issue I found is that I had to get friends to install it just to test it with them. Until it becomes one of those apps that just about everyone has installed, the ease of sharing isn’t there. On the other hand, with over 10,000,000 downloads, it may be well on its way to becoming that popular. Maybe getting in with some phone manufacturers can get it to that level.
The new photo uploader is a nice touch. It works great and makes uploading and sharing very simple. There are a few tools it will have to contend with such as Dropbox (very easy file syncing) and Google+ (automatically uploads images as they’re taken), but the idea is really neat and it does work very easily – and who wouldn’t want that?