Back in June, Dropbox debuted a preview version of the “new Dropbox.” Built around a standalone app interface and focused on integrating all of your work tools (your Slack, G Suite, Zoom calls, etc.) into one place, it’s a pretty dramatic overhaul from the simple shared folders that Dropbox has always been known for.
Not everyone was a fan — John Gruber, for example, pointed out that all he wants from Dropbox is what it originally promised: a basic folder that syncs really, really well.
However you feel about it, the new Dropbox will start rolling out to everyone today. Those shared folders are now “Dropbox Spaces” — a hub, effectively, built around your shared files.
Here’s some of what’s different:
- A Dropbox Space can have text descriptions to break down its purpose, and basic to-do lists for managing upcoming tasks.
- A “For you” tab that lives in your Windows system tray or macOS menu bar pulls info from your calendar and tries to find files you might be looking for mid-meeting, and shows you a timeline of recent activity (edits, comments) from your team.
- “People pages” let you see everything you’ve shared or collaborated on with a specific member of your team.
- Tools like Slack, Zoom and Trello can all be integrated into a Dropbox Space, allowing you to join a Zoom Meeting or add things to a Trello card from within a Dropbox space.
- Cloud files, like those in your Google Docs or Office 365 accounts, can be brought into Dropbox Spaces.
- You can now search for things within your images, with Dropbox using computer vision to recognize an image’s contents. Works with JPG, PNG, and GIF files. Dropbox says this’ll roll into Dropbox Pro today, with Dropbox Business plans getting it “soon.”
- Dropbox Transfer allows you to share large files (from 100MB for Basic users up to 100GB for Pro/Business users) with others, regardless of whether or not they have a Dropbox account. Upload a file, and you’ll get a shareable link. You can set up alerts notifying you when a file is downloaded, put a password on it or set the link to expire after a certain date.
Dropbox doesn’t want to be seen as “just” a storage company any more — Dropbox CEO Drew Houston outright said it onstage, asking audience members to try to stop thinking of it as a storage company. Standing in front of a slide declaring that “the way we’re working isn’t working,” he outlined the company’s newfound focus on being a hub for all things work.
And if you prefer the old look and feel of Dropbox, with your Dropbox folders sitting amongst your other folders right within your OS? It doesn’t seem to be going away. You’ll need the new app to do any of the aforementioned new stuff, but your Dropbox folders and files will still appear in your Finder windows as before. A representative from Dropbox tells me there are no plans on the roadmap to change that.