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Dropbox Adds Workgroup Collaboration Improvements to File Storage Service

In its bid to appeal to more business users, Dropbox today has added a number of new features to its popular online file storage and sharing service, giving it more functionality for iOS-based devices and offering improved document management and sharing from Windows PCs and Macs.

Dropbox users can now create Office documents from their iPhones and iPads as well as use them to scan documents. All Dropbox users can now insert comments into PDFs, documents and images, a feature that was limited to those with premium accounts and they can now view version histories, among other new features.

The company claims 500,000 users have Dropbox accounts but more than half have free accounts, which provides basic file storage services. In recent years, Dropbox has added new business features to its service. Dropbox is among the most popular of the file storage services, though it competes with many providers including Google Drive, Citrix ShareFile and most notably Box. Dropbox also competes with Microsoft's OneDrive for Business but Dropbox, along with Box and Citrix also have partnerships with Microsoft to provide compatibility with Windows and Office.

One of the appealing features of Dropbox is its rapid file synch capability. Back in March Dropbox said its service is used in 8 million businesses with 150,000 paying business customers and 25,000 new ones coming online monthly.

In a blog post today, the company highlighted the new features, which include the ability to:

  • Scan documents into Dropbox folders from the mobile app, which lets users organize scans from whiteboards, receipts and sketches, with the ability to search within scanned files.
  • Create Microsoft Office documents (Excel, Word and PowerPoint) on mobile devices using a new "plus" button offered in the iOS app.
  • Share files and folders from desktops: Here the company says it is simplifying the saving and sharing of documents. When right-clicking on a folder on a Windows PC or Mac, it'll share right from the desktop removing the process of redirecting to the Web or copying a link to an e-mail.
  • Allow all users to add comments to a file directly from Dropbox, not just premium ones.
  • Preview contents of a file before restoring it to ensure it's the correct version.
  • Let users share a single document with specific people, which is available with a new file-sharing control as well as a read-only option.
  • Search within scanned documents in Dropbox folders including the use of OCR.

The new features are available to those with both free accounts and for those with paid subscriptions with the exception of the latter feature offering the ability to search within scanned files.

The company is also now letting users set the destination folder when uploading photos and videos to Drobox as well as allow them to be grouped. Dropbox Basic users will have the desktop app installed on their computers in order to use the automatic camera uploads.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 06/22/2016 at 1:28 PM


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