Dropbox Carousel: 3 Highlights - InformationWeek
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Dropbox Carousel: 3 Highlights

Dropbox reveals Carousel, a new mobile app that automatically backs up and organizes your images. Here's a closer look.

Dropbox: 7 Apps To Add On
Dropbox: 7 Apps To Add On
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If you use Dropbox to store photos, there's a new app you'll want to try: Carousel, available now for iOS and Android. The app automatically backs up your device's photos and videos to your Dropbox account and quickly lets you share them with friends.

Dropbox cofounder and CEO Drew Houston announced Carousel at a media event in San Francisco on Wednesday. Dropbox, which launched in 2007, has grown to 275 million users and boasts nearly 700 employees.

While most users think of Dropbox as a file storage solution, Wednesday's event proved otherwise. In addition to Carousel, the company announced collaborative features for users who store Microsoft Office documents in Dropbox and new versions of its Mailbox email app for Android and desktop. The company also teased a relaunch of Dropbox for Business, which it plans to reveal on Friday.

[The cloud storage market is heating up. Read Google Drive Chops Prices.]

While Carousel's features are somewhat limited -- it includes no photo editing tools or custom grouping options, for example -- it's a good start for users looking for a better way to manage their photos. Here are some of the app's highlights:

Dropbox's Carousel app is free and uses the same storage plan included in your Dropbox account. New users will receive 2 GB with the potential to earn more space from referrals. You can also purchase 100 GB for $99 a year.

Once you download the app and log in with your Dropbox credentials, the app will populate with photos stored in your Dropbox account and pulled from your device's photo stream. While you can't create custom albums, the app will group your images automatically by date and location. You can quickly browse through your images by using the slider at the bottom. You cannot select which images from your device upload to Carousel -- everything is synced automatically.

Sharing and conversations
Carousel lets you select hundreds of photos to share with other Carousel and Dropbox users, or with anyone else via email. To share individual photos, tap the checkmark within the thumbnail. To share entire events, tap the icon next to the event date or location. Other Dropbox members can save images you share with them at full resolution in their own accounts.

Images and messages you share are stored in your conversation view. Find it by tapping the bubble in the top-right corner. If you send an image via email to someone who is not a Dropbox member, that person can view the image and your note, but cannot respond to messages.

Hidden photos and videos
To hide a photo from your main view, tap to open it and swipe your finger down the screen. Photos need to be hidden individually. You cannot select more than one image to hide at a time. You can view hidden photos and videos through your settings tab.

To delete images from Carousel and your Dropbox account, move them to your hidden photos and videos view, then tap the checkmark box in the top right, and tap delete on the bottom. You can also restore images to Carousel from this view.

Carousel is available now in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Apprentice
4/16/2014 | 6:02:28 PM
Re: The point?
Not totally sure about the conclusion you made, but I absolutely agree that there is no need for another sharing app. Truly, this is no different than having your images feed directly to Dropbox -- they've just created a new app to fluff up the appeal. It also gives them an excuse to make users take up more storage space by storing unwanted videos. This does not in any way reflect the "dropbox for business" that they have been trying to tout. 
Li Tan
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
4/14/2014 | 10:43:21 PM
Re: The point?
This is the so-called "user stickyness" - if you are comfortable with one particular solution, you can easily adopt a batch of related services/tools. The same situation here in China - the pople will adopt the related tools/apps from Taobao, which is a big third-party payment vendor because they get used to Alipay.
Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
4/11/2014 | 8:32:03 AM
Re: The point?
What it comes down to is the ecosystem you're most dedicated to. If you're a heavy Dropbox user, you'll love Carousel, f you're an Apple fan, you're probably wedded to iCloud, etc.
Li Tan
Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
4/10/2014 | 10:57:09 PM
Re: The point?
Fully agree with you, folks. There are too many similar, even identical services, apps on Internet and cloud. We need some killer applications/services to light the sky. These normal services are easy to develop and most of them are free of charge but the business potential is not good nowadays.
User Rank: Strategist
4/10/2014 | 8:54:13 PM
Re: The point?
That's a really good point. All of these services are pretty much the same now. You'd have to look at the enterprise services to really find any diversity among cloud providers.
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
4/10/2014 | 6:58:10 PM
The point?
Do we really need another photo sharing service? I really wonder how long Internet services can continue copying each other. Pretty soon AmazOneDriveiCloud will be indistinguishable from DropGoogleBoxhoo.
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