Early last year, we compared several well-known Mac FTP clients. Though we established that Transmit was King, CyberDuck always stood out as a cheap, no-frills version.
However, that was version 2. With Leopard now well into it’s third iteration (10.5.2), CyberDuck has also been flapping it’s wings once again, but does it fly? Let’s take a look.
Veteran users will note that the bookmark drawer is now replaced by a panel in the main window. But it’s somewhat of a cosmetic change; the panel now includes your Bookmarks, FTP history as well as Bonjour, an Apple technology used to discover services on a local area network. Previously, your FTP history and Bonjour services were hidden in the menubar, making them hard to monitor. Surprisingly, the log drawer is still there, even though Apple’s own applications seem to be ditching drawers altogether.
Like all Leopard apps, CyberDuck now also comes with Quick Look. Select any file that you want to preview and hit the spacebar; the file is downloaded in the background and presented to you. These files are then cached, so that subsequent previews can take place instantly, without having to request the same file from it’s source again. CyberDuck 3 also adds Amazon S3 and WebDAV support; Amazon S3 is certainly more interesting because it’s not very well supported by many other clients at this stage.
CyberDuck 3 also includes a feature known as Open Web URL, which simply opens the corresponding Web URL of a selected file in your web browser. This might sound mundane at first but it can actually speed up certain workflows. On the whole, it seems like CyberDuck is playing catch-up with the other well-known FTP clients out there. But hey, it’s free and gets the job done, so there isn’t much to complain about.
CyberDuck is a simple, down-to-earth FTP manager that just gets stuff done. If you’re a no-frills person who simply wants to transfer and edit files online, this is it. If you’re looking for all the bells and whistles and a delicious-tasting user interface, keep looking (or try Transmit).