May 01 AT 10:52 PM Matt Demers 21 Comments

Hands on Dropbox beta for Android

Dropbox is a name I’ve heard thrown around a lot in tech circles, and until now I thought it was just an Apple thing, as it was from those sites that the name has popped up the most. Most Mac-heads I know seem to love it, and after discovering and using its Android incarnation, I’m going to begrudgingly join them in their love.

Dropbox solves a problem I’ve been having for a little while in that it cloud-syncs user files for access wherever there is a Dropbox client installed which includes Windows, Max and Linux variants. My primary use for it is that I enjoy reading (free and fair-use) comics on my Milestone.

However, being the lazy person that I am, I don’t like maintaining a “to read” folder on my phone’s SD card itself. Dropbox fixed this by syncing a folder on my computer to the cloud, uploading anything new that was added since the last time it checked. Accessing the client from my phone allows me to download the files and store them from my SD card.

Things I liked:

  • SD storage is a big deal because it differs from other syncing applications I’ve used. With those, the files downloaded must be handled by an internal player. With Dropbox, downloaded files show up in ASTRO (or other file viewer) under a dedicated folder, which lets you open them with whatever app you want.
  • Sleek interface (not a port). This is a big plug. Responsive, simple to use and doesn’t bog you down with a lot of options. Dropbox is to the point, and does what it’s advertised to well.
  • The ability to upload things from your phone to Dropbox works wonders, and allows for the easy sharing of pictures, videos and more.
  • Free 2 GB of sharing, and increases with referrals or other challenges, like completing 5/8 things off a “to do” list (tell your friends, take a tutorial, etc).

Things I didn’t:

  • I really don’t have any complaints about Dropbox; the app simply works, and does exactly what I need it to. This seems to be a rarity in the application world, and I can commend the developers for putting work into the app.

Though this application’s in beta, I think the only issues that need to be tested is the stress on Dropbox’s servers. I can see that would come with the addition of any new devices, though, and can see this hitting the marketplace proper as soon as they’ve got everything smoothed out.

Sadly the beta for Dropbox is closed at the moment, as I miraculously managed to get one of the 500 open spots. Like I said above, it should only be a matter of time before users can join me. Happy syncing!

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Matt is a Toronto blogger who enjoys writing opinion columns about culture, comics and of course, Android. You can find more of Matt's work on his personal site.

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