Hightail (for Android) review

Hightail for Android packs lots of useful features into a free app that lets you send large files and make digital signatures.
Photo of Hightail (for Android)

Who among us hasn’t felt the sting that comes when an email fails to reach its intended recipient due to a mammoth file attachment? Hightail (formerly known as YouSendIt) specializes in remedying that problem by allowing users to upload large files to its servers and then share the simple, lightweight generated link with others. The company’s revamped Android and iPhone apps not only let you email large files with no worries, but also let you digitally sign documents and store files in the cloud as well. If any of those features sound appealing, the free Hightail app is worth a download.

YouSendIt No More
You start by creating a free account from within the app or logging in with your credentials, should you already have an account. After doing so, you’re taken to the Hightail home screen where you can add files.

You can upload files from the My Folders, Photo Library, or Camera folders to Hightail’s servers and then key in the recipient’s email address. Fortunately, Hightail for Android lets you sideload files from a SD card; Hightail for iPhone) cannot as Apple’s handset lacks a storage slot.

Once the email (containing the new Hightail link) lands in the recipient’s mailbox, Hightail sends you a confirmation email stating that the message was delivered. You can also track when the file was accessed, how many times it was downloaded, and when it’s expiration date. Much better than a bounce-back notification, eh?

E-Signatures
Hightail lets you digitally sign documents—an incredibly useful feature if you’ve ever had to John Hancock a digital document. Here’s how it works: when you receive a document via email, tap and hold the attachment, select Open in Hightail, and choose a destination folder. Tapping Sign then Quick Sign opens a blank area where you can scribble in a signature, change the font, or enlarge the signature’s size. Unlike the free DocuSign Ink, Hightail doesn’t let you request signatures, so you may want to look into that app if you need such functionality.

That said, as someone with large digits, I found it somewhat challenging to key in a signature while holding an Android phone vertically, as the Clear button is positioned a little too close to the text area. Twice I deleted by signature by accident. Turning the phone horizontally, however, makes the process much easier. You can save your e-signature for use at a later time, which is very handy. I also liked that Hightail has Samsung Galaxy Note pen support; I used my Note II’s  stylus to insert a signature instead of a finger.

Hightail also acts as a file storage service. Bringing a finger to “Store” lets you save a file to your allotted Hightail storage space.

Pricing and File Management
How you use Hightail directly corresponds to your account type. Free account holders can store a maximum of 2GB of data, five e-signatures, and upload files up to 50MB in size. Pro accounts (starting at $9.99 per month) house 5GB of data, hold 10 e-signatures, and let you upload 2GB files at a time. ProPlus accounts (starting at $15.99 per month) one-up Pro accounts by offering unlimited file storage and e-signatures. There’s a plan for nearly every user scenario.

Tapping the drop-down arrow associated with a folder or file opens the Share, Manage, Move, Delete, and other options. I like that these options are tucked away as it keeps the interface uncluttered.

A Highly Useful App
Hightail is an app you should have on your Android handset if you frequently find yourself in situations where you need to email large files. The e-signature feature is equally useful, as are the Android specific plusses. Inserting my signature was a bit tricky at times, but Hightail is a highly recommended convenience utility for Android phones.

Specifications
Type Business, Personal
Free Yes

Verdict
Hightail for Android packs lots of useful features into a free app that lets you send large files and make digital signatures.
Published under license from Ziff Davis, Inc., New York, All rights reserved.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc