Dropbox is continuing to change how it deals with public files. It recently started enabling users to share any file they want with anyone on the web (with some limitations).
Now, as the next step, it's retiring Public Folders, which have been the only way of sharing something on Dropbox with the world up until very recently.
Public Folders are just what they sound like, a folder on Dropbox where you can drop files that are visible to anyone with the link.
The folders were also used by various apps leveraging the Dropbox API, but now that the feature is being retired, developers are urged to modify their app to take advantage of the new sharing features.
"We wanted to let our developers know about an upcoming change to the Public folder for all user accounts. In April, we launched the ability to share any file or folder in your Dropbox with a simple link," Dropbox notified users in an email.
"This new sharing mechanism is a more generalized, scalable way to support many of the same use cases as the Public folder," it explained.
"After July 31, we will no longer create Public folders in any new Dropbox accounts. If your app depends on Public folders, we recommend switching to the /shares API call. Public folders in existing accounts, however, will continue to function as before," it added.
People that have been using the Public Folders have nothing to worry about, they're not going away. However, new users won't get them and it may be removed if you aren't using it and haven't used it in a while.
The new public share feature is more interesting, it's certainly simpler, though there are a few limitations, like the fact that you don't get a direct link, but one to Dropbox page with a big download button along with the option of adding the file to your Dropbox if you're a user.