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New Dropbox build touts screenshot auto saves and 'Move to Dropbox' feature

post #1 of 31
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Popular cloud storage and file synchrnoization service Dropbox on Wednesday released a preview build of its upcoming 2.3.x desktop client, showing off four new features including screenshot saving, file moving and iPhoto imports.

Dropbox


Dropbox's experimental build 2.3.12, first spotted by MacStories, not only gives users a sneak peek at the forthcoming update, but also lets Dropbox test out the new features in the wild.

The first addition is a tool that automatically saves a screenshot to a user's Dropbox. In the Mac version, when users take a screenshot, it is automatically uploaded to a special folder in their Dropbox. For quick sharing, the public link to the created file is automatically copied to the OS X clipboard, which can then be pasted in any number of apps to send off to collaborators.

With the latest experimental build, Dropbox has also implemented "Move to Dropbox," a feature that ties in with contextual menus in OS X. When users command-click, or right click, on a file or folder, a new "Move to Dropbox" option will appear that links to their main Dropbox folder. The feature works with almost any file type and location in Finder.

Dropbox


The "Import from iPhoto" feature uses iPhoto albums to create Dropbox albums for sharing and viewing online. Macs must be running iPhoto 7.0 or higher to take advantage of the functionality.

Finally, the company promises "much faster" upload and download speeds for larger files, which should be a boon for collaborators using the service to constantly edit and sync documents remotely.

Dropbox experimental build 2.3.12 for Mac can be downloaded from the Dropbox forums, or through this direct link.
post #2 of 31
Granted Dropbox rebuffed Apple's attempt to buy them, but why can't iCloud come up to speed on offering the kind of features that these guys have!?

License the IP from DB, for God's sake, if that's what's needed.
post #3 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Granted Dropbox rebuffed Apple's attempt to buy them, but why can't iCloud come up to speed on offering the kind of features that these guys have!?

License the IP from DB, for God's sake, if that's what's needed.

DB works great cross platform too....

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post #4 of 31
The screenshot saving thing is something you can do on your own with Automator easily but it's still a nicety that shows Dropbox is thinking about the user.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Granted Dropbox rebuffed Apple's attempt to buy them, but why can't iCloud come up to speed on offering the kind of features that these guys have!?

License the IP from DB, for God's sake, if that's what's needed.

I'm not sure what IP they really have that Apple couldn't simply implement on their own. I really hope we see something major next week. There is simply no excuse for not having a modern file sharing system built into iCloud.

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post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Granted Dropbox rebuffed Apple's attempt to buy them, but why can't iCloud come up to speed on offering the kind of features that these guys have!?

License the IP from DB, for God's sake, if that's what's needed.

 

Who said iCloud is designed to meet its objectives? If you think Apple isn't going to extend their cloud services starting with iOS 7 and OS X 10.9, think again.

post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

The screenshot saving thing is something you can do on your own with Automator easily but it's still a nicety that shows Dropbox is thinking about the user.
I'm not sure what IP they really have that Apple couldn't simply implement on their own. I really hope we see something major next week. There is simply no excuse for not having a modern file sharing system built into iCloud.

 

Try none and if one reads Apple IP listings you'll notice all the functionality DropBox has or plans to have is already patented implementations specific to Apple's intended goals.

post #7 of 31
Why do you need Apple to do everything? If a third party can do it better and let them be. Free up Apple resources as well not to have to do everything. Remember iCloud is just an enhancement to the OS and not a standalone feature.
post #8 of 31
We really have to understand Apple's DNA here. Whereas Dropbox is trying to efficiently solve today's problem here and now, Apple is desperately trying to redefine the whole user experience. In the meanwhile, till Apple get it right, we just have to use services like Dropbox.
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

Why do you need Apple to do everything? If a third party can do it better and let them be. Free up Apple resources as well not to have to do everything. Remember iCloud is just an enhancement to the OS and not a standalone feature.

 

This is what I don't understand. When Microsoft started implementing features that their partners already covered, the interweb went nuts. 

post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

Why do you need Apple to do everything? If a third party can do it better and let them be. Free up Apple resources as well not to have to do everything. Remember iCloud is just an enhancement to the OS and not a standalone feature.

1. Indeed, they don't need to integrate everything. But when they do, it's usually done very well, has the same aesthetics and can be integrated better because they have access to any and all (low level) resources.

2. iCloud is also a pure standalone feature for iDevice owners, with backups et cetera without any need for OSX.
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post #11 of 31

Dropbox's support for mobile devices is pathetic and frustrating. They need to pay some attention to this area pronto, as there's plenty of other options out there today.

post #12 of 31
Let%u2019s be honest here: the whole file sharing approach of iTunes / iCloud / iOS is completely broken. I remember Steve Jobs explaining that (new) users find the file system too complex so they%u2019re trying to hide it. But failed miserably because the solution is worse than the problem.

I know several (non-tech) people telling how easy it is to drag your music and photos to an Android phone. On iOS it%u2019s a complete mess. Wifi sync, iTunes sync, iCloud sync, %u2026 and all without having a file system on iOS.

The concept to have the files in the apps is flawed. It%u2019s as simple as that. I want my files in a folder, not in an app. Now I have to remember in which app I last edited my file and look there.

The main reason why the iOS versions of Pages and Keynote are almost unusable in a professional context is because of the lack of Dropbox integration.

Hopefully, Apple will admit in iOS 7 that they were wrong and drastically change direction. But I think the best we can hope for is iOS Airdrop that will force the user to immediately decide which app to dump the file in.

The future of Dropbox is bright.
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

Why do you need Apple to do everything? If a third party can do it better and let them be. Free up Apple resources as well not to have to do everything. Remember iCloud is just an enhancement to the OS and not a standalone feature.

It's not a question of wanting Apple to do "everything" but rather the expectaion that they should do "certain things" that could be considered central to a modern operating system. And cloud file management/sharing certainly seems to fit this description.

post #14 of 31
Dropbox is a different beast to iCloud. It is a user visible folder which syncs anything dragged into the folder across all clients on which dropbox is installed. iCloud is an API for developers, including Apple, to store per app items , documents etc to ensure that moving between Apple devices is seamless for that app.
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post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Dropbox is a different beast to iCloud. It is a user visible folder which syncs anything dragged into the folder across all clients on which dropbox is installed. iCloud is an API for developers, including Apple, to store per app items , documents etc to ensure that moving between Apple devices is seamless for that app.

Dropbox does sooooo much more. I can take a picture and it will automatically upload my pictures to Dropbox. I can store videos, files you name it to DB then I can email anyone a link and give just them access to the data. It works just like Photostream does in a sense.So i can be on vacation and take a ton of pictures and email grandma a link and she can see pics of her grand-kids at Knottsberry Farm. Where on iCloud does it store data from app APIs? I just checked my iCloud and did not see anything?

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post #16 of 31

How to attract a thriving third party developer community to your platform.

 

Don't do everything yourself.

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post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

Dropbox does sooooo much more. I can take a picture and it will automatically upload my pictures to Dropbox. I can store videos, files you name it to DB then I can email anyone a link and give just them access to the data. It works just like Photostream does in a sense.So i can be on vacation and take a ton of pictures and email grandma a link and she can see pics of her grand-kids at Knottsberry Farm. Where on iCloud does it store data from app APIs? I just checked my iCloud and did not see anything?

 

You still need enough space on your hard drive to hold a Dropbox folder.

 

It don't work so good when due to constraints on space you put your Dropbox folder on an external hard drive.

 

Apart from that it don't work too bad.

 

Logging into your Dropbox account from a demo Galaxy S III or 4 in a store will also get you 48 free GB for two years (unless someone else beat you to it on that particular phone).

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post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

You still need enough space on your hard drive to hold a Dropbox folder.

 

It don't work so good when due to constraints on space you put your Dropbox folder on an external hard drive.

 

Apart from that it don't work too bad.

 

Logging into your Dropbox account from a demo Galaxy S III or 4 in a store will also get you 48 free GB for two years (unless someone else beat you to it on that particular phone).

My DB folder on my rMBP is 1GB. You limit the amount of pics files and so forth my moving them out of the folder. I got the extra space when space when i signed in with my S4...I have 51 GBs on DB now. 

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post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by hagar View Post

Let%u2019s be honest here: the whole file sharing approach of iTunes / iCloud / iOS is completely broken. I remember Steve Jobs explaining that (new) users find the file system too complex so they%u2019re trying to hide it. But failed miserably because the solution is worse than the problem.

I know several (non-tech) people telling how easy it is to drag your music and photos to an Android phone. On iOS it%u2019s a complete mess. Wifi sync, iTunes sync, iCloud sync, %u2026 and all without having a file system on iOS.

The concept to have the files in the apps is flawed. It%u2019s as simple as that. I want my files in a folder, not in an app. Now I have to remember in which app I last edited my file and look there.

The main reason why the iOS versions of Pages and Keynote are almost unusable in a professional context is because of the lack of Dropbox integration.

Hopefully, Apple will admit in iOS 7 that they were wrong and drastically change direction. But I think the best we can hope for is iOS Airdrop that will force the user to immediately decide which app to dump the file in.

The future of Dropbox is bright.

 

I sync a lot of Android phones with other phones to transfer data between various models.

 

It's a headache.

 

Contacts and SMS sync when USB debug is enabled in developer mode, pictures and other stuff need mass storage mode, switching between these is hit and miss at best depending on model and manufacturer.

 

Samsung went so far as to hide developer options in the S4, you have to go into settings, across to the more tab, down to about phone and tap on Build number seven times, back out of that, go back a tab and then you can find it.

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekdad View Post

My DB folder on my rMBP is 1GB. You limit the amount of pics files and so forth my moving them out of the folder. I got the extra space when space when i signed in with my S4...I have 51 GBs on DB now. 

 

Yeah well I've got 55GB and my Dropbox folder is 30GB, over 18,000 photo's plus other stuff, it's a ticking time bomb which will expire in a year unless I start paying for the 48GB I got from Samsung.

 

I have a 250GB hard drive and Dropbox duplicates my back ups, I can access it via the browser but to use the folder I have to plug in my external drive, which is also partitioned to work as Time Machine.

 

I'm moving ANOTHER backup of my photo's to Flickr.

 

Along with the shared folders I have in photo stream.

 

Then there are photo's backed up to Facebook.

 

What this means is that if any of these fail I can access any of the others, the more the merrier I always say.

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post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

Why do you need Apple to do everything?

I'm not sure how need comes into play, but I certainly want Apple to make a better cloud-based file sharing system for users. Despite all that Dropbox does to make it simple for users it's still a 3rd-party solution that requires separate downloads for each device with separate logins, and there seems to be a complexity to it that even people in the tech field still don't fully grasp years later. It also incurs a lot of limitations on iOS since it's unable to integrate with the OS.

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post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

Why do you need Apple to do everything? If a third party can do it better and let them be. Free up Apple resources as well not to have to do everything. Remember iCloud is just an enhancement to the OS and not a standalone feature.

 

I completely agree. In my considered opinion, Dropbox has begun to suffer from featuritis. At its base, Dropbox is a godsend. The ability to transparently share files among all of your devices as simply as saving a file on one device is absolutely huge. I had been using a USB jump drive for this purpose. However, it is more than a notion to use a jump drive with an iPhone.

 

It was with no small amount of horror that I watched Dropbox 2.1.x literally eat my files on two computers running MacOS X 10.4.11. Dropbox 2.0.x and older versions do not have this issue. Luckily, my files did not disappear from the Dropbox server.

 

When software transitions from "just works" to "be careful," it has gone a feature too far. I hope that the good people at Dropbox do not screw-up what has quickly become essential software for me. 

post #23 of 31
I keep trying most every cloud service that is introduced and I use several for their free amounts, but none have dethroned DropBox as what I actually use, including iCloud, for go-to documents, recent backups and sharing files. It's a clean interface that works. I only needed a few not-smooth moments with iCloud to have me not using it except as another cloned device backup. I just don't have the patience anymore for things that aren't well laid out and work with confidence.

Apple makes my OS and hardware of choice but their net functions (including their own site) are still, after all these years, subpar.
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

It was with no small amount of horror that I watched Dropbox 2.1.x literally eat my files on two computers running MacOS X 10.4.11. Dropbox 2.0.x and older versions do not have this issue. Luckily, my files did not disappear from the Dropbox server.

Even if they did get deleted from the server Dropbox saves all deleted files and files before each delta update for up to 30 days for free accounts and indefinitely for paid accounts.

In fact, it's so hard to delete a file or to reverse a mistake that I use for every important file I have. This includes but is not limited to my Xcode projects.The ability to switch from my MBP to my iMac at will with zero effort and have the same projects on each (assuming both machines are connected to the network) removes a great deal of complexity and effort on my part. And I can even use the aforementioned Dropbox feature to grab older files I changed if I forget to create a snapshot in Xcode. This is probably the biggest surprise I have with Apple because they at least offer this TextEdit and other apps via iCloud.

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post #25 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

 

I sync a lot of Android phones with other phones to transfer data between various models.

 

It's a headache.

 

Contacts and SMS sync when USB debug is enabled in developer mode, pictures and other stuff need mass storage mode, switching between these is hit and miss at best depending on model and manufacturer.

 

Samsung went so far as to hide developer options in the S4, you have to go into settings, across to the more tab, down to about phone and tap on Build number seven times, back out of that, go back a tab and then you can find it.

 

lol...they really hid the developer options on the S4.....

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post #26 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

Why do you need Apple to do everything? If a third party can do it better and let them be. Free up Apple resources as well not to have to do everything. Remember iCloud is just an enhancement to the OS and not a standalone feature.

They're big enough and sophisticated enough to walk and chew gum at the same time, I'd guess.

 

If not, I'd rather that they got the Cloud right, instead of wasting time on cute-sy, nice-to-have (not must-have) stuff like iRadio.

 

Add: For example, I can't get iTunes Match to update my playlists in the past couple of months. I've given up using it since it's become a complete waste of time to manage.

post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Dropbox's support for mobile devices is pathetic and frustrating. They need to pay some attention to this area pronto, as there's plenty of other options out there today.

 

It is? Frankly, considering the limitations Apple places on third-party iOS applications, I think Dropbox integration is pretty darn good. Am I frustrated that I can't save my Pages documents directly to Dropbox without having to open both apps? Sure I am. That's not the fault of Dropbox. That's Apple.

post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

It was with no small amount of horror that I watched Dropbox 2.1.x literally eat my files on two computers running MacOS X 10.4.11. Dropbox 2.0.x and older versions do not have this issue. Luckily, my files did not disappear from the Dropbox server.

 

I've only seen something like this happen once. My primary MacBook Pro has two drives (a SSD and the HD that came with it). The SSD was upgraded to 10.8 while the HD still had 10.6. I had a need to boot back into SL to run something under Rosetta and it had an older version of my Dropbox folder than hadn't been synced in nearly a year. When I logged in and Dropbox decided to catch up, it for some reason decided to sync its version of the folder and deleted everything that had been added since the last time it was used.

 

As someone else mentioned earlier, Dropbox keeps 30 days of history (unless you pay to keep unlimited revisioning) so it was a simple matter of restoring all the affected directories using the web interface. I then promptly disabled Dropbox on the old boot partition so it wouldn't happen again :)

post #29 of 31

@ hagar.  Fully agree. The mystery is why Apple abandoned iDisk functionality. It had almost everything I expect from a cloud system and (mostly) implemented in a neat way. DB is nice, too, but I still miss iDisk.

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by erann View Post

Fully agree. The mystery is why Apple abandoned iDisk functionality. It had almost everything I expect from a cloud system and (mostly) implemented in a neat way. DB is nice, too, but I still miss iDisk.

iDisk was awful for users.

Examples:
  • If you uploaded a 1GB movie and it crapped out or you closed your Mac notebook at 900MB the whole thing was lost. With Dropbox that doesn't' happen.
  • If you have a 100MB Excel/Numbers document that you copy to iDisk if you change anything it has to reload the whole file to sync with the server. With Dropbox it does delta changes.
  • If you accidentally delete a file from iDisk you have to re-upload it again. With Dropbox you can simply undelete.
  • If you accidentally save a change in a file in iDisk you have to re-upload it again. With Dropbox you can simply restore the previous file (just like with Time Machine.
  • Worst of all, if you have sensitive data to be stored on iDisk you need to first use use Disk Utility to create an encrypted Disk Image (or some other app) so that it's not sent or received in cleartext. With Dropbox it's 256-bit AES encryption from start to finish.

Now, you can say you don't care about these features or that you know fully well that these don't exist and you accept these limitations, but it's irresponsible for any company to offer a service to consumers that they expect to be relatively secure and safe. And frankly it's long over due. Are you aware that even with MobileMe Mail that only your web login used SSL but all your content was sent as in clear text via HTTP? Not acceptable!

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


iDisk was awful for users.
...

I admit that iDisk wasn't perfect though it was pretty good for my use case. The thing beyond my comprehension is why Apple didn't port all the functionality of iDisk to iCloud. The code existed already anyway.

 

I do use DB, yet I would like to have the functionality from Apple. I have been using Macs for 24 yeras (and computers for 42 years). When I was younger and more adventurous I loaded my Mac full of all kind of useful (and useless) functionality from any vendor. However, there were always nasty incompatibility issues which consumed plenty of my time. Then I Iearned that the more I have software from Apple, the less I have trouble and the more I save time.

 

Note: Its not that I am afraid of computers. I have majored in Computer Science (compilers, OSs, etc) and I have programmed computers directly from the front panel at bit level. Those were golden days but they are over and today computers are only tools for me and I want my tools run with minimal trouble.

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