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'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.
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]