Dropbox launches a swathe of new features

Some interesting developments from Dropbox – everyone’s (well, most people’s) favourite cloud storage/backup/sharing tool.

Firstly, a new app called Carousel, which is a photo gallery app. According to the blurb, it

…combines the photos in your Dropbox with the photos on your phone, and automatically backs up new ones as you take them. Carousel sorts all these memories by event so you can easily travel back in time to any photo from any date. And unlike other mobile galleries, the size of your Carousel isn’t constrained by the space on your phone, which means you can finally have your entire life’s memories in one place.

Sounds good. Note that this is a separate app rather than a new feature in the existing Dropbox app. Further evidence that the native app space is all around doing one thing well rather than cramming as much functionality into one app as possible (for another example see Facebook moving messaging out of the main FB app and forcing users into the dedicated messaging app).

Here’s a video with the details.

Carousel: Your entire life at your fingertips from Dropbox on Vimeo.

Next is an update to Mailbox, which was an iOS only email client. It’s now on Android too, and had introduced a new feature that learns from your use of it which emails you are likely to immediately archive, for example, so that in future it can automate that task for you.

An email client that deletes emails on your behalf? That’s one way to inbox zero!

The other updates relate to Dropbox for Business, rather than the consumer version that most people use (for free). One is that now users will have two Dropbox folders – one for personal stuff and one for work. The work one will be in the control of the employer, who will be able to remotely wipe files from ex-employees, or for other security reasons.

A second new feature is account transfer, which allows employers to move an account to another employee, due to promotions or other movements. Thirdly, a sharing audit function will enable an organisation to track who has seen what files.

These are important updates for Dropbox to be seen as a serious contender in the cloud storage and sharing space, particularly in bigger organisations. However the real game changer has only been hinted at, and that is Project Harmony, which will bring collaboration to Dropbox documents.

Dropbox say that Harmony will

let you see who’s editing a file, have a conversation with other editors, and keep copies in sync — all right inside the apps you already use

So it won’t matter if one person is editing a file in Word on a Mac and another using a different version of Word on Windows – real time collaboration will still be a possibility.

These are really interesting developments from Dropbox, and the cloud storage space is hotting up at the moment, with price drops from Google, and new feature announcements from the likes of Box too.

Which storage service is your current favourite and what are the features that matter most to you?

Published by

Dave Briggs

I'm Head of Digital and Design at Adur and Worthing Councils.