Dropbox turns on automatic photo and video upload for Android smartphones and tablets, and digital cameras. The move comes as pundits debate the degree of such syncing in the cloud.
be outdone by splashy news from its rival Box around Android platform supportFeb.
24 enabled automatic uploading of photos and videos over Android devices.
Dropbox is a
provider of cloud-storage services for consumers and businesses. The service
has more than 45 million users, competing with the likes of Box and Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG), which offers storage by way of its Google Apps cloud
The refreshed Dropbox for Android
mobile application will
instantly upload the photo and video content to Dropbox over WiFi or mobile
broadband data plans.
which recalls the instant upload feature for the Google+ Android and iOS mobile apps
, will upload
content at original size and quality, saving them to a private camera uploads
folder in Dropbox. Dropbox said it will also make the feature available for iOS
devices, such as the iPhone and iPad, in the near future.
The idea is
that if users lose their smartphones, digital cameras or tablet computers,
photos and videos created with those devices can be saved by Dropbox's cloud-storage
service. The auto-upload feature isn't limited to mobile either.
the new version of its Windows and Mac desktop apps can automatically upload
from just about any camera, smartphone, tablet or Secure Digital (SD) card
users might connect to their computer.
To draw users
to the new feature, Dropbox is offering 500MB of free Dropbox space for users'
first automatic upload. "As you take more photos and videos, you can use
this feature to automatically upload up to a total of 3GB extra for free,"
Bartelma, director of products at Dropbox, wrote in a corporate blog post
auto-upload feature came one day after rival Box, which focuses more on enterprise users, upgraded
its Android app with collaboration features and support for the Spanish,
German, French and Italian languages.
software also prompted Benchmark Capital venture capitalist Bill Gurley to write on
that such features commoditize devices and their OS.
credentials and configurations of devices, and even applications are natural
next steps for this company," Gurley wrote. "And the further they
take it, the less dependent any user becomes of the physical machine (HW and
SW) that is accessing that data (and state). You can lose your desktop
computer, you can lose your smartphone. It doesnt matter, because all you
really care about is in the Dropbox cloud."
What Gurley is
talking about is another validation of the cloud-computing model. Yet not
everyone worships at the altar of Dropbox.
Farhad Manjoo countered Gurley's supposition in Pando Daily
. Manjoo lamented the lack
of perfect syncing in
Dropbox and for any so-called cloud service, for that matter.
trouble is, it will be difficult to make a perfect gadget-syncing service that
is also a great standalone business," Manjoo wrote. "There are two
reasons for this. First, the perfect syncing service needs to do more than
simply store files. Second, the perfect syncing service should be unlimited and
free, or as close to it as possible. Dropbox will have a hard time doing the
first of these for technical reasons, and if it does the second, it wont be a
very good business."
position is that such state syncing would come under the aegis of Google,
Apple, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) or any of the other OS platform purveyors. The
suggestion is that Dropbox will have to sell out to one of those rivals to subsist.