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Bump turns your phone into your universal thumb drive

The latest version of the hit app makes it possible to quickly and easily move any kind of file between an iPhone or Android phone and any computer -- or vice versa.

Daniel Terdiman Former Senior Writer / News
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
2 min read
Bump now lets users transfer any kind of file between a phone and a computer -- in either direction. Bump

Since it's always hard to find a USB stick when you need one, Bump thinks your phone should become your universal thumb drive.

Starting today, Bump, whose app enabling two people to swap photos and contact details simply by bumping phones together has been downloaded more than 125 million times, is making it possible to quickly and easily move files between iPhones or Android phones and any computer -- in either direction.

Last May, Bump added a feature letting people send photos from their iPhone or Android device to their computer. But the transaction could go only one way and was limited to photos. Now Bump is making it possible for the transfer to go both directions, and to include any kind of file -- or even multiple files -- as long as the total is smaller then 30 megabytes.

What makes the new feature particularly interesting is that there is no setup involved, beyond downloading the latest version of the Bump app.

"Everything you can bump between phones now also works both to and from any computer in the world," Bump CEO Dave Lieb said in a blog post today. "Photos, videos, contacts, files...everything. There's no setup at all -- just go to http://bu.mp on your computer, open Bump on your phone, bump the spacebar key and the files you selected on your phone will instantly appear on your computer. Bump is now your unlimited USB flash drive that is always with you!"

The idea, Lieb told CNET, is to help people get over their fear that transferring files from their phone to their computer, or vice versa, won't work -- or that syncing will somehow fail. With the latest version of the Bump app, the company is betting that people will be able to overcome those fears and start moving files with little trouble.

A look at how to transfer files from a computer to a phone. Bump

This feature is also about giving Bump users some value, even when they're alone. Traditionally, the app has been about two people -- both of whom have the app on their phone -- swapping contacts or photos. And while many millions of people have downloaded the app, it hasn't been useful for people unless another Bump user was around. Now the company is hoping that it can convince a large number of people to use the app whenever or wherever they are, regardless of whether another Bump user is nearby.

And while the 30 megabyte limit is certainly smaller than most thumb drives, Lieb said it's possible that at some point in the future, Bump may allow larger transfers, potentially as an in-app purchase. But he said that isn't at the top of the company's priority list.