Quick View (free) for Andorid is the mobile companion to DigitalQuick, a service that allows you to easily encrypt files on your computer and on the file-syncing service Dropbox. DigitalQuick also allows you to control what other people can do with your secure documents, such as edit, copy, and print.
Though still in beta, DigitalQuick and Quick View offer a solution for individuals and businesses who want to take advantage of Dropbox’s low cost and utility without compromising security. However, Digital Quick is quirky and the mobile app is no different. In my testing, Quick View lived up to its name: With it, you can quickly view secure files on the go—and little else.
Getting files into Digital Quick is a bit of a Byzantine process, requiring you to encrypt files on your computer and then move them on to your Android device via USB. Then, you fire up a file manager on your Android device (I use the Astro File Manager) and move the files into the My Documents directory inside the Quick View folder.
Did you have Quick View running while you did this? Well, you’ll have to wait a full ten minutes before the app will sync with the DigitalQuick servers and update the permissions for the files you’ve moved. Until then, you’ll see confusing error messages. There’s no way to force the app to refresh, so you’ll have restart the app, or move files into the Quick View directory before launching the app.
The Fassoo.com team has told me that future versions will include real-time permissions updating.
DigitalQuick’s selling point is its support for Dropbox, and accessing your secure files from that service is straightforward with Quick View. Just tap the large Dropbox icon on the app’s homescreen, tap allow on the next screen, and your DigitalQuick files (along with everything else in your Dropbox account) is available.
The process for linking Dropbox to DigitalQuick and adding encrypted files is covered in our review of the Web service.
Working With Quick View
Once you have access to your files, Quick View lets you view the contents without decrypting the files. Unfortunately, the built-in document viewer will not let you copy, edit, save, or really do anything with your documents.
You can decrypt files, removing all permissions and encryption, to share with users who aren’t DigitalQuick users. Doing so, of course, defeats the purpose of using a document security system. You can also view the permissions assigned to a document, such as limitations on editing and printing. Unfortunately, you cannot change the permissions from the app—to do so, you’ll have to login to the DigitalQuick website.
Quick View lets you share DigitalQuick documents via email, which is useful if your files are stored locally. Dropbox has more robust sharing options, though, which don’t appear to affect the encryption or permissions of DigitalQuick documents. So you may be better off just sharing your documents through Dropbox directly.
Prior to publishing this review, DigitalQuick’s developers informed us that an update allows users to import files directly from Dropbox without decrypting them and for users to access their local encrypted files without an Internet connection. These are welcome additions, but did not affect the score of the review.
Not for the Faint of Heart
If you’re an avid DigitalQuick user already familiar with its quirks, using Quick View is a no brainer—despite all its drawbacks. If you’re not a Digital Quick user, the app serves no purpose.
Because the service is still in beta, I don’t want to be overly harsh, but users should be aware that Quick View is far from a finished product. The utility of being able to view and decrypt files is overshadowed by the difficulty in opening them, and the app lacks critical features like a built-in file manager and document editor. Though the app looks well-made it badly needs an improved user interface as the current version is difficult to use and completely un-intuitive. The included documentation did little to relieve my confusion.
The time has come for a service like DigitalQuick, but it and Quick View need to mature before they’ll be ready to fill that niche.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc