I just had one of those rare experiences with technology in which everything worked flawlessly. I’m still in a mild shock.
Two weeks ago upon opening the Dropbox App on my iPhone there was a message that told me how to use Dropbox for the photos on my phone. I don’t need this, I thought to myself, my photos are syncing to Apple’s iCloud.
I turned on the feature anyway. After using for two weeks, I can only say that it is nothing short of awesome.
Initially it took a short while to upload all of my existing photos to an automatically created folder entitled Camera Uploads in my Dropbox account. Also, new photos don’t upload until you open the Dropbox App. But what an extraordinary difference compared to using iCloud.
On my iPhone 5 Dropbox does a nice job of displaying my photos in a useable timeline. Unlike the appalling tree and branch approach that we’ve come to tolerate on facebook, it is very easy to see which images were shot on which day in Dropbox’s timeline.
Even better is that my photos are infinitely more accessible. iPhoto downloads images from my phone via my Photo Stream. I then have to export the images if I want to use them outside of iPhoto application. With Dropbox I just open up the Camera Uploads folder and open the image in whatever app I want.
But here’s what really got me. When I got to my father’s house to tell him about my Christmas trip back east, I was able to show him my pictures on his computer by logging into my Dropbox account via their web site. In the time it took my father to make two gin and tonics I was able to make a photo album of my trip. It was really that intuitive, and that fast. The photo display mode in Dropbox is fantastic.
There’s a lot to love about Dropbox as a service and as company. They are innovating ways to make my digital life more manageable and more easily accessible. More importantly they are avoiding clutter. Making that photo album of my trip could not have been more straight forward. Which is all I’m really asking of my computer and mobile devices.