I have been using Dropbox for the past few weeks or so and I am now a big fan!
Dropbox is a utility which creates a virtual storage area for your files.
It’s not a new idea. I’ve used a variety of products, ranging from GMail (sending myself files and documents I want to keep online) to Google Docs, and back in the old days, Yahoo Briefcase.
- I can easily share files with my colleagues and friends. This is possible in lots of other apps, but Dropbox does it elegantly.
- I have a local version of my files on each of my computers (my work laptop and my home laptop) which I access just like any other folder. The great thing is that when I make a change on any computer, the files are synchronized on other computers as well as on the online site.
- The iPhone interface is fairly nice as well, though I can think of a number of ways it could improved. More on that to come.
The other interesting thing is how I found out about DropBox. I saw the link on a friend’s Facebook page. As far as I can tell, social networking appears to be the primary way that DropBox is gaining popularity.
Ok, now that I have said lots of kind things about DropBox, let’s take a look at some features which I think could be improved.
- iPhone interface: The page lists my files and gives me access to the files, but that’s about it. For instance, I am including a screenshot of the iPhone interface in this post. It would have been great if I could take a picture and upload it directly to DropBox. Instead, I took the picture, emailed it to myself, opened up the image file, cropped it and uploaded it into WordPress. Why is that so complicated?
- Update notification: After you install DropBox on your computer, you will see an icon at the top of your screen which gives you access to your DropBox. There’s a list of recently changed documents. However, it would be much more convenient for me if the DropBox icon changed when a document was updated, so that I would know to check in.
- Web 2.0ish-ness: DropBox interfaces with several social networks. But it’s not as good as it could be. For instance, I have lots of photos on Picasa. I have not yet been able to integrate these pictures into DropBox. Maybe there’s a way, but it’s beyond me, so far.
My criticisms are relatively minor. Overall, I am extremely satisfied with DropBox. Let me know what you think…