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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  • http://Website Usman

    This is actually one of the few apps that I’m really waiting for, along with Flash, of course. :)

  • http://Website geekosphere101

    I’ve been using dropbox to keep files synchronized with all of the computers I use throughout the day For some time. I find the Android app to be up to par with the rest of the service, both the web interface and desktop application. Definitely a valuable tool.

  • mrqwebb

    I use this on my mac and Love It!!! cant wait for the release

  • http://Website rush

    I have been using droidbox as a substitute in the mean time. It is fast, has an easy to use interface and works great. Dropbox sounds a lot like droidbox.

    Give it a whirl until you are able to get the real Dropbox installed.

  • http://Website chukk56

    here’s a link for ya for an invite………………

  • http://Website chukk56

    aarrgghh. Sorry folks, it’s just a invite to the dropbox site. So instead, I installed Dropbox from Sendroid.

  • SliestDragon

    I was a bit disappointed with the dropbox beta, only because when I first heard it was coming I had in my mind that it would actually sync folders on my Nexus just like with my computer. Although I can see them not doing it because you can have 250GBs of room, and sdcards only go to 32GBs, but there’s still work arounds for that, like choosing which folders sync. Maybe you need root access to sync with the sdcard, and they either don’t know how to get it to work, or don’t love root users enough to make a separate app for them(doubt that’s the reason, just throwing it out there :P), but still. I do like the app though. I lovebeing able to ‘upload’ files to dropbox, I just wish I could do stuff like sync my camera folder for a easy backup. I hope my hopes and dreams will be answered when the beta tag gets closer to coming off…

  • http://Website Terran

    How big is the dropbox beta app?

  • Artem Russakovskii

    Here’s another preview, reviewed by our new contributor Ian:

    The app is looking pretty damn good for the first version (and in a closed beta).

  • http://Website The Spirit

    if you need a dropbox account, maybe you could use my referral link.
    thanks a lot

  • jtz
    • AndyH_STi

      While the link and the QR code worked for me and I was able to install and run the Dropbox app on my Nexus One, I was not able to login with my account. I wonder if there is something on the back-end that the Dropbox company has to do to enable my account to use the Android beta app. Oh well, I can wait until it comes out of beta or the beta opens up to more users.

    • robotmaxtron

      I also was able to download and install the app but with no luck logging in. While the application is there sadly it does look like all beta keys are tied to the account holders. :(

      Dropbox is a recent find for me, and I have a feeling will be used greatly in the coming future especially now with the android app on the way! Really eager for a release.

  • http://Website Brad

    Oh man, its already closed off :(

  • http://Website John

    For those looking for extra space on the free accounts, its possible to get up to 8 extra gigs without paying.

    Each of these will get you an extra 250mb.
    #1) Sign up under a referral link. (30 seconds, 250mb)
    #2) Complete the tutorial and start tasks. (2 minutes, 250mb)
    #3) Refer people under your own link (time depends on motivation/your ability to whore products to your friends, 250mb per referral up to 8 gigs.)

    You can use my link if you think this was helpful. Otherwise ignore it and use the one below.


    Main Site:

    Thanks guys.

  • http://Website Sam

    Beta is currently open (who knows for how much longer) .

    I am kind of confused though. Is there a way for me to sync my dropbox with my SDcard? The author mentioned being able to see his files in ASTRO but this just seems like a native version of the mobile site.

  • http://Website Brad

    Damn, missed out again! They only opened it up to 500 more people :(

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  • Samsung B3410

    Dropbox is a good tool for who uses iPhone and want’s to share files between PC and the iPhone!