Version Reviewed: 188.8.131.52
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
iPhone Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Polkast is a personal cloud service that gives users unlimited storage by using their own computer as storage. There are some minor user interface annoyances and a few other small problems, but Polkast is an incredibly useful app for viewing or downloading files from a computer. I’m honestly amazed that it’s free.
In order to use the app, an application needs to be downloaded onto a Mac or Windows computer. The download and installation were quick in my experience. The app runs in the background after the user decides which folders to give Polkast access to. After that, simply sign into an account on the iPhone or iPad app.
I preferred using the “All Files” button to find what I was looking for. Other options, like Videos and Music, found all of those types of files out of all of the folders Polkast had access. I have quite a bit of movies and music, so the organization in those folder options were awful. Using my own organization I created on my computer with “All Files” made the experience easiest.
The app has to completely download a file in order to “stream” it. The good news about that is that the file becomes accessible even when offline. At least deleting an item from the cache is as easy as going to the “Transfer Queue,” swiping the item, and pressing delete.
Though it took quite a while, I actually downloaded a movie I had on an external hard drive that was connected to my computer with Polkast installed. I forgive the ten
minutes it took to download the movie. The file went from my external hard drive, to my computer, and over my wireless network to my iPhone. Ten minutes isn’t bad at all.
The app refuses to download more than one file at a time. I’m not sure if that’s a limitation that the developers can address or not. I attempted to open a 2.2 kB text file while my large movie was downloading. I had to go to the Queue and pause the movie download in order to see the text file.
I had a few other minor problems. The two small buttons at the top (search and Now Playing) and the incredibly small settings button at the bottom are hard to touch. I even have small fingers for an average person. And both .mov and.mp4 files play perfectly through Polkast. But the app would not play .avi video files.
Polkast is free. For anyone who doesn’t have an app to retrieve and view files from their computer, this app needs to be on their iOS device.