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Dropbox CEO Drew Houston

Dropbox Launches Mailbox For Android, Standalone Photo App Carousel, And More

In a keynote address Wednesday, CEO Drew Houston announced the cloud-storage company now has 275 million users.

Touting 275 million users, Dropbox on Wednesday debuted a set of productivity tools to help users work more efficiently, including Mailbox for Android, a standalone photo app Carousel, and collaborative editing features.

"What makes me so happy is this family just got a lot bigger," CEO Drew Houston said from a media event in San Francisco.

About a year after acquiring beloved iOS email client Mailbox for $100 million, Dropbox has finally launched an Android version. The company also opened a limited beta of Mailbox for Desktop, a Mac email client that borrows many of the familiar gestures of Mailbox's mobile app using hotkeys and trackpad gestures. To further help workers manage email, a new service called Auto-swipe will automatically suggest rules to snooze emails from certain senders.

Mailbox for AndroidImage: Dropbox
Mailbox for DesktopImage: Dropbox

Mailbox's creator, Gentry Underwood, showed off a new iOS and Android app called Carousel that displays photos stored on Dropbox. "It's like time began the last time I bought a phone," Underwood said about the limitations of the iPhone's photo gallery. "Nothing from before is in those phones."

Back in 2012, Dropbox began positioning its service as a destination for photos, offering free storage to users who turned on a camera upload feature. "Photos as an experience was primitive on our platform, so we thought it probably deserves its own standalone experience," Soleio Cuervo, who heads design for Dropbox, told Fast Company. With automatic camera uploads, photos show up on Carousel near instantaneously, said Underwood. Available Wednesday, the app can share one or hundreds of photos with Dropbox users and those who don't have an account. Private conversations also allow people to chat about photos (in essence, allowing them to relive their memories) directly from the app. "At the end of the day, we want this to be home for all people's memories," Cuervo said, noting the company eschewed its "Swiss Army-knife approach" in favor of a self-contained app.

CarouselImage: Dropbox

Dropbox also unveiled Project Harmony, collaborative editing tools that work with Microsoft's Office productivity suite. Similar to Google Docs, users can chat with collaborators directly from a file. However, instead of showing real-time editing, users can display new changes by clicking a button.

Furthermore, Houston said Dropbox for Business, which debuted in the fall, is now available for all companies. The enterprise product lets users manage both personal and work Dropbox accounts without compromising security.

Looking ahead, Cuervo said Dropbox will focus on building products across different platforms. "We're going to have all these new devices. We want to apply the same level of craft and detail and passion to them," he said.

[Image: Alice Truong/Fast Company]

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2 Comments

  • I find it odd that they just now support mail. I've been in the cloud, DriveHQ, since 2008, and as long as I can remember I've had an email account along with my cloud provider. As for the photo thing, the only issue I have with this is that I like the idea of Instagram a lot better. I dunno, just the social aspect is kinda cool for photo sharing, JMO.

  • They actually purchased Mailbox some time ago, though have just recently updated to make available to more than just iphone/ipad. As far as Carousel, it obviously cannot be compared with Instagram, though it does seem like an odd move to be made by Dropbox. Seeing as this is a consumer app and they have been touting their new "for business" design. Not to mention, there is not much about Carousel that Dropbox users couldn't do before -- this just saves all (unwanted) photos so your Dropbox storage is used up instead of your phone storage (aka: to get you to pay). What will they think of next!