Dropbox launched in 2008 and was an instant hit for cloud-based sharing. Before large data files were allowed to be shared by email, this service made it easy to upload huge files and share them with virtually anyone through link sharing. As cloud services matured and file transfers became easier to complete, Dropbox faded into the background.
With a new focus on their user interface and sharing that doesn’t require a membership now might be the time to take a new look at what Dropbox has to offer.
There are admittedly some weaknesses still present. If you want to share a folder, you’ve got to share a zipped folder. Users don’t have to sign up with Dropbox for an account to receive a set of files, but they do need a decent internet connection to download large files – and for mobile users that means a 4G connection at minimum.
The most notable improvement that Dropbox has made is to their Android app. It now allows for easy mobile uploads, downloads, and collaboration.
It takes just two clicks to find files and begin work. In the past, 97% of today’s Fortune 500 companies avoided Dropbox. The terrible user interface was a hindrance and a productivity killer.
We also love how the favorites section of Dropbox has been streamlined, especially within the Android app. Originally, the favorites section was intended as a bookmarking feature so users could find files they wanted to read or download later on. There was also the option of marking files for offline access. Offline is now clearly marked as such, which eliminates the confusion that caused many to stop using Dropbox.
Then there’s the story of the bell. Dropbox wanted to let people know if information had been shared with users, sort of like someone posting a comment, link, or picture to a Facebook page. The only problem with this is that the average person doesn’t expect notifications from a file sharing service. The bell has been kept, which seems meaningless for those who aren’t signing up for an account, but at least it has been labeled for what it is so users know what the icon does.
Dropbox may not be perfect and it may not be useful in every situation, but there is no denying that it can help with productivity. Communication issues are eliminated when everyone in a network can have access to collaborate on a specific file.
The personal uses are nice as well. If there is a great video that everyone in the family would love to see, Dropbox allows the video to be shared with everyone without needing to post it to Facebook.
With the new design of the Android app and its improved functionality, it’s time to take a second look at Dropbox. It may have been confusing in the past, but now the experience is simple, straightforward, and surprisingly fast.