Dropbox updated its official iOS client earlier today, adding the ability to save files to your account from any app using the iOS 8 share sheet.
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More specifically, when I turn my car’s ignition on or off in the parking lot at my office, Automatic triggers an IFTTT recipe, creating a text file in a special Dropbox folder which is monitored by launchd and runs a shell script depending on which file is created.
It sounds more complicated than it is. No, really.
The official Dropbox app for iOS was updated today with much needed renaming capabilities for files and folders. Dropbox has added a new Rename button that you can reveal by swiping over folders or hitting the “More” button in the file preview screen. On the iPhone, this extra panel (pictured above) also shows information about the selected file such as size, filename, and last modified date.
With a blog post, Dropbox today announced that they are partnering with Microsoft to extend integration with Dropbox storage to the Office mobile apps for iOS and Android. “In the next few weeks”, users will be able to open Office documents in Microsoft's apps directly from the Dropbox app, and Dropbox sync will be bundled into Office for iPad to create, edit, and sync documents across devices. Dropbox will coexist with Microsoft's own OneDrive service, and users will even be able to browse their Dropbox account and copy shareable links to files without leaving Office for iOS.
From the Dropbox blog:
We know that much of the world relies on a combination of Dropbox and Microsoft Office to get work done. In fact, Dropbox is home to over 35 billion Office documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. That’s why we’re partnering with Microsoft to help you do more on your phones, tablets, and the web. Soon you’ll be able to access your Dropbox directly from Office apps, and edit Office files from the Dropbox app.
Tom Warren writes at The Verge:
“Access to Dropbox content popped as one of the very first [iPad for Office] requests that customers had,” explains Kirk Koenigsbauer, head of Microsoft’s Office Engineering team. “They want access to where their content is. We’re doing it to make sure customers have a great experience.” Although Microsoft has its own OneDrive cloud storage, Dropbox will appear alongside Microsoft’s own service in the Office for iPad apps, allowing users to natively browse, open, and edit Office documents stored on Dropbox from directly within the app.
I find this interesting for a couple of reasons. First, Microsoft was long criticized for ignoring Office on mobile devices, but, under CEO Satya Nadella, they appear to be actively listening to how people want to use Office on the go – Dropbox is an obvious choice for file storage and sharing, but Microsoft still requires an Office 365 subscription to fully use the iOS apps (side note: Word for iPad is a regular fixture of the App Store's Top Grossing chart).
It's also notable that Microsoft has chosen to develop their own custom integration rather than simply rely on Apple's new document provider feature of iOS 8. As you can see from the screenshots, Word for iPad will have a custom Dropbox file browser with support for multiple accounts that doesn't require you to open a document picker to switch between file storage locations. Given the complexity of sync and the strategic importance of this partnership, it makes sense for Microsoft to control this integration with a custom, full-featured approach.
In yesterday’s coverage of iOS 8 for my daily workflow and Transmit, I mentioned that I hadn’t had much time to test document pickers and provider extensions in iOS 8 and that I couldn’t grasp the full potential of Apple’s document management changes in practice. While that still holds true today, I’ve been playing around with the iOS 8 update that Dropbox launched yesterday and I thought it’d be useful to collect my thoughts on the site for future reference.
In a blog post, Dropbox announced changes to their paid tier today, cutting the price of Dropbox Pro to $9.99/month with 1 TB of storage and introducing new features for Pro users.
The latest update to the official Dropbox app for iOS, version 3.3, adds a series of welcome improvements. For one, Dropbox has added support for better state restoration, which means the app should remember your position across relaunches (seems like a trivial addition, but Dropbox has long ignored my last-open folder. This, in its seemingly unimportant nature, improves the app dramatically).
Second, Dropbox now comes with better caching, which should use less data and disk space. I still believe that apps should always offer a manual “Empty Cache” feature (Spotify's cache, for instance, constantly goes above 1 GB with no manual controls besides deleting and reinstalling the app), but I'm glad that Dropbox is addressing this issue.
Dropbox 3.3 is available on the App Store.
Mailbox still has plenty of work to do, even on the homefront. There are lots of bugs in the Mailbox for Mac beta, and there are still more email services to add like Exchange and Yahoo, which Underwood says his team is thinking about. But, much as Sparrow did before it, Mailbox is paving the way towards a future where email works faster, syncs instantly between all your devices, and just acts more like the other modern communication apps we use today.
From the preview, Mailbox for Mac already looks pretty great. The “snooze to device” feature sounds genius, and I like the fact that everything (including drafts) sync fast across devices.
Unfortunately, Mailbox is another app I can't use on a daily basis. The app is still limited to iCloud and Gmail, whereas our email runs on IMAP and Exchange. It's not clear whether Mailbox will support IMAP in the future, and I don't think I'll ever go back to Gmail.
Mailbox is also using a “betacoin” system to handle access to the beta: users who got an invitation today received three images of golden coins, which they can share with other users to let them use the beta.
Developed by Francisco Cantu, Fileup is a new OS X utility that lets you quickly share files through Dropbox by dragging them onto a menu bar icon. Unlike other apps that have implemented the same sharing mechanism and user interaction (which Dropbox surprisingly doesn't support with their own menu bar app), Fileup adds filters for file types, integrates with Notification Center, and lets you set up templates for naming files through a simple syntax. The idea is reminiscent of Vemedio's shortlived Sharebox experiment, but, as required by Dropbox, Fileup is a separate menu bar utility that doesn't interact with the official Dropbox client.