Developer: Dropbox
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Productivity RatingRating: ★★★★☆

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

IMG_0460If you aren’t using Dropbox, you might want to look into it. Part back-up service, part multi-computer sync, it’s saved my life more than once. The premise is simple: on each Dropbox-enabled computer, you have a special folder (a “Dropbox”) that’s linked to your online account. When you add, delete, or otherwise modify files within that folder, on any machine, the online service takes note. Then, all of your Dropboxes are updated to reflect the changes. This includes your online one, which is accessed through Dropbox.com—thus giving you access to all of your files, so long as you have an internet connection. You can get a free account with 2 GB of storage, or pay for additional space.

The Dropbox iPhone app is an extension of that service. While you can’t edit text files, you can view them…and the other files supported, which includes everything from PowerPoints to PDFs to pictures. You can see everything in your Dropbox, as well as download files for offline viewing by marking them as a favorite—and then sync those files to match the updated ones in your Dropbox later. You can also upload pictures and videos from your iPhone to your Dropbox. The ease of transferring such files is remarkable; it took about two seconds (literally!) for a screenshot uploaded from my iPod to show up in my laptop’s Dropbox. The syncing is all automatic.

IMG_0463Having Dropbox on your iPhone opens a whole new suite of possibilities, too. Imagine: snap some vacation photos with your iPhone, then upload them to Dropbox and have them waiting on your home PC or share them with your Dropbox-using friend. When working on group projects, you can always have the latest revision. Dropbox for iPhone is sleek, efficient, and incredibly fast; everything simply works.

I do have a few wishes, of course; sometimes, Dropbox is too lightweight. The ability to upload multiple photos at once, create and edit text files, and add a password(s?) would all be much-appreciated functions. Being able to favorite entire folders (or create folders within the Favorites pane) would also be nice, as would pinch-to-zoom on pictures.

But at the end of the day, Dropbox is a free service that provides a ton of functionality, and I’m not going to do much complaining. The iPhone app itself isn’t really anything remarkable, but the core Dropbox features are what give it its value. As I said, if you’re not using Dropbox already…well, maybe today’s the day to start. It’s a great service for synchronizing files and backing them up, and it’s hard to argue with “free.” The Dropbox app is just icing on the cake.

Posted in: iPhone Apps and Games, Productivity, Reviews

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