Dropbox rolling out updates with document previews and improved image sharing

31 Jan 2013

Dropbox services 100m users saving 1bn files a day, but it faces stiff competition from the likes of iCloud, SkyDrive, Box and Google Drive. As well as introducing useful features, like document previews, Dropbox is enhancing how users can view and share images as it begins to see these things not just as files but as users’ content.

Normally, users have to download files to view them on Dropbox’s web service so a preview function is a welcome addition that brings Dropbox’s offering in line with Google Drive. So far, previews are available for PDF, Word (both .doc and .docx) and Powerpoint files, with further support to be added down the line.

The preview function will begin rolling out to all Dropbox users over the next few months and there are plans to add it to Dropbox’s mobile apps also.

A new look for images

As well as documents, presentations, spreadsheets and what have you, Dropbox is useful for storing photos and, with automatic camera uploads available on Android and iOS, it’s a popular choice for users.

A new feature coming soon to all users will now allow them to see all photos they have stored on Dropbox in one continuous camera roll, no matter what folder they are stored in. The images appear in chronological order and can easily be shared directly to Facebook and Twitter or sent via email.

This continuous photo stream was launched in beta on Android last month and support for iOS will follow soon.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic