Productivity Tools

Is CloudApp’s Free Version Worth It?

cloudapp logo

CloudApp is a solid choice for small businesses and enterprises looking for a secure, multi-use screenshot and screen recording tool. CloudApp offers a free version with limited features: but is this free plan worth it? To determine the answer to this question, I signed up for CloudApp’s free screen recording app for Windows. Read on for my resulting review of the free CloudApp screen recorder and screenshot tool.

How Do You Get CloudApp For Free?

You can download and install CloudApp’s free version in the same way as its paid plans. You can click on “Get Started For Free” at the top right corner of the CloudApp website, or under the free plan on the “Plans & Pricing” page. To start your free CloudApp plan, simply sign up with your email and password and directly through your Google account. Then, you can download and install CloudApp onto your Windows or Mac computer. From there, you can access CloudApp’s screenshot and screen recording tool directly from your Desktop’s toolbar, shortcut, or program files.

What Features Does CloudApp Have?

CloudApp’s free version includes the same basic features as its paid version, but with limits. Screen recordings are limited to 90 seconds and can be accompanied by audio or webcam. GIFs are limited to 15 seconds. To take a new screenshot, click on the CloudApp logo on your desktop or toolbar. A sidebar will pop up that displays your most recent drops, collections, and favorites. On the bottom of the sidebar, you can choose to take a screenshot, screen recording, or GIF. You can also choose to upload a new file. Most file upload types are supported, and you can upload up to 100 MB/file.

a pig riding an electric unicycle

GIF created using CloudApp

After you select the “capture” key, you drag your pointer over the area that you wish to screen capture. For screen recordings and GIFs, you can choose either to record your full screen or a selected area. All of these options are readily displayed on CloudApp’s pop-up window; I found its design very intuitive and easy to use even for beginners.

After taking a screenshot or GIF, you will be taken directly to CloudApp’s annotation screen. Here, you can markup your screenshot with arrows, lines, ovals, squares, and text. You can also pixelate, crop, or draw on the image. Once you finish editing, you can copy a short link to your clipboard or drag and drop screenshots to other apps. Sharing this short link will lead viewers directly to your image. You cannot annotate screen recordings, but you can send them via sharing links.

a pig riding an electric unicycle with his head circled in red and the caption look at him go

Annotated image using CloudApp

All screenshots and screen recordings are uploaded to your CloudApp library. You can access your cloud page from your browser or your desktop. In your browser, you can view them, edit their names, archive them, favorite them, and sort them into collections. You can also upload drops to your cloud storage space.

Unfortunately, I found CloudApp’s cloud storage space much more difficult to navigate in-browser. The display here is much less intuitive and seems to be missing buttons found on the desktop app that let you download images and annotate files.

What Are the Differences Between the CloudApp Free and Paid Plans?

general features of cloudapp pricing plans

While CloudApp’s free version features the same basic functions as its paid plans, there are several features that are either lacking or missing altogether from the free plan. The biggest limit is the number of drops you can upload. In all of CloudApp’s paid plans, you can upload an unlimited number of files. However, in the free version, you can only access your last 50 files. This greatly limits the usefulness of CloudApp’s cloud storage. The free version also supports smaller file sizes and bandwidth than paid plans, as well as shorter screen and GIF recording lengths. The free plan also does not support HD video.

Other missing features from the free plan include secure sharing and privacy settings for drops, custom branding, admin features like consolidated billing and user management, and high-level security settings like SAML. So, when you take a screenshot or screen recording, anybody can access your file.

On the plus side, CloudApp’s free plan does include all 30+ integrations with other apps. These include integrations with important work productivity tools such as Slack, Zapier, project management apps like Trello, Asana, and Basecamp, and customer service apps like Intercom and Zendesk. These integrations make it easy to share CloudApp screenshots and screen recordings on different apps so you can communicate visually with co-workers, customers, and clients.

So, Is CloudApp’s Free Version Worth It?

For businesses, the answer is a resounding “no”. CloudApp’s free plan is inadequate for businesses due to its limited drop number and lack of security and privacy features. As teams quickly run out of visible drops, they will be unable to share files. They also cannot share sensitive information over CloudApp since anyone who gets ahold of the short URL for a drop can access it. Customers who need robust security, unlimited screenshots, and high-quality video should either consider CloudApp’s team or enterprise plan or check out one of its highly-rated screen recording software competitors.

For individuals: it depends. CloudApp’s free version is a solid screenshot and screen recording tool for those who want to take a limited number of screenshots and screen recordings for their own personal use or to share with friends. CloudApp’s free version provides a basic screenshot tool with screen capture, GIF, and screen recording functions and includes advanced features like annotations, collections, and cloud storage. This puts CloudApp on par with other free snipping tools like Greenshot and PicPick, and certainly makes it a better choice than Windows Snipping Tool or Mac’s snipping keyboard shortcuts. But once you exceed CloudApp’s limited drop number, you must decide whether to continue with its paid version, one of the more expensive tools in the market, or search for an alternative better suited to your needs and budget.

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