Drop it like it's hot Sync files across your computer, laptop, and iPhone with Dropbox

Posted by maggie.hunsucker September 30, 2009

dropbox_logoIt’s a common scenario.   You start a document from your work computer.  Email it yourself (or save to a memory stick) to make further edits from a home computer or laptop.  Email it to a coworker to add their stamp, who it turn emails it to another coworker, and so on and so forth.

At this point, you’ve got multiply versions of the document floating around.  Who knows if what’s made its way back to you is the final version – a dicey situation if that document in question is being sent to a client or used during an important meeting.

That’s where Dropbox for iPhone comes in handy.   Before we discuss the merits of this application, we should look at Dropbox’s core product.   Dropbox is an online file management system.   Users simply drag-and-drop files (documents, images, audio, and video) to a Dropbox folder, which uploads them to secure web server.   All files are accessible through a web browser and any local versions of Dropbox you install.   This could be your work computer, home computer, laptop – and now your iPhone.

The iPhone application is free, but it requires a Dropbox account to work.   Dropbox gives you 2GB for free, and you have the option of upgrading to 50GB for $9.99/month or 100GB for $19.99/month.  Once installed on your iPhone, you have immediate access to all your Dropbox files.   Even better, any photos or videos you take with your iPhone can be added to the Dropbox and automatically synced with your main account.   During my testing, I was impressed with how quickly my computer files synced with my iPhone.   I deposited the iPhone screenshot below in Dropbox and within a matter of seconds, it appeared on my computer Dropbox.

Dropbox iphone App mobile

Dropbox is one of the better – if not best – file management systems I’ve seen.  It’s simple and intuitive to use (seriously, no instructions needed), and it syncs files quickly and automatically (i.e. no orphan documents to worry about). Once your documents are in the Dropbox, you can further organize them into folders and if you choose, share these folders with friends and colleagues.

Upon installation, Dropbox will put an icon in your menu bar, which provides easy access and sharing of your Dropbox files. You can also elect to have notifications through Growl, so you know when a new document has been added and synced with your account.

Dropbox offers the freedom to work on documents from any computer - and not just your own. The local application is Mac, Windows, and Linux compatible.

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