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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dropbox redesigns desktop client to put more emphasis on notifications

6:34 PM

Say hello to a cleaner and better looking Dropbox for desktop with new features! The cloud storage service has released an update for its desktop client that aims to make the user experience faster and better. 

The most important addition to the Dropbox for desktop update is the availability of more immediate notifications through a drop down menu. You can now right away view files you have been invited to share, saving you the need to head to the Finder/File Explorer to accept invitations.

The service has also tried to make it easier to share using Dropbox. You will need to mouse over files to find that elusive share button. While that adds to the aesthetic value of the clean looking new Dropbox, it makes it slightly annoying to find the share button when you’re in a hurry. Dropbox will still redirect you to the website when you try to share files. This is something the service will need soon to find a fix for.


The desktop client for Dropbox lives in the system tray or the menu bar (depending on whether you have Windows or Mac), so all the updates and new features are happening there. Specifically, Dropbox made it easier to access shared files, and you can also accept or decline invitations to shared folders right from the dropdown menu.

You’ll also get notifications in real-time as people share files with you. Dropbox also made it much easier and quicker to see what files have recently changed in your Dropbox, and they also added a new way to share files with a link. You can easily click “Share” on any recently-changed file and paste the link to the person you want to share it with.

Dropbox’s new look is definitely a huge improvement over the previous one with a clean interface and larger buttons. The update even brings about thumbnails of files that you have shared or just uploaded, making it easy for you to spot and revise them. Unfortunately, figuring how much space you still have left and seeing the “pause sync” option is a bit of a task that requires a couple of more clicks. The redesign seems to have hidden it under more layers.

This update has also been rolled out to Android and iOS apps for Dropbox, enabling them with new notification centres. The update is available for Mac OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and above, and on Windows XP and above. It isn’t available for Linux yet, says Dropbox. You can grab the update from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

When Dropbox first started offering cloud storage, you could sync your data between PCs, but smartphones and tablets slowly joined the ranks, making data transfer smoother between a range of devices.

Dropbox has earned its place as one of the largest cloud storage services against biggies like Google’s Drive, Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s SkyDrive. A Quartz report pegs Dropbox’s value at $4 million and it's rumoured the company may go public sometime this year.

This does not mean Dropbox is taking time off while it’s still ahead of the game. Earlier in February, the service updated its iOS and Android apps with a couple of new features. The update enables the app to send you a push notification each time someone shares a folder with you. In addition, you can now sort through files according to the date they were modified.


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