Dropbox Will Get PDF, Document Previews, Virtual Photo Albums

Dropbox is focusing on content and going beyond storage

Dropbox started out as a way to seamlessly sync files between computers and have them stored online for safe keeping. The simplicity of its goal and the app itself turned Dropbox into a success, despite a huge number of competitors springing recently.

But cloud storage can only carry you so far, especially with the myriad of competitors, so Dropbox started to add more features.

The first big one was automatic photo uploads, introduced last year, which made it easy to get your photos out of your phone and camera and place them online where they can be easily shared.

But Dropbox is looking beyond that. It's getting ready to launch a number of features that put the focus squarely on content and push Dropbox beyond just being "dumb" storage.

Users will be able to preview PDF and other common document files without opening them in a new app, for example. You won't be able to edit files, but it's a start and it should be very useful when you're trying to find out if that is the file you need before downloading it.

This only works for Microsoft Office documents, PDF files and PowerPoint presentations for now and it's coming over the next few months.

Dropbox is also changing the way photos are treated. The app no longer sees them as simple files, you can still move, export or delete them like any other file, but you can also group them in photo albums.

Photos added to an album stay associated with that album no matter where they're stored or if you move them to another folder. This makes it easier to keep track of groups of photos, but also a lot easier to share several photos at a time.

This feature already works in the Android app, but it's coming to the rest of Dropbox soon. There are other features in the works, Dropbox says, with the same clear focus on content.


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