Cloud file storage startup Dropbox broadened its reach May 4 by adding support for Google's Android, Apple's iPad and Research In Motion's BlackBerry mobile platforms.
Dropbox already supports Apple's iPhone. The latest offering is couched in Dropbox Anywhere, new mobile apps and APIs geared to help users access their files on most computing devices or mobile applications.
Anywhere provides native support for accessing, viewing and sharing documents and files stored in Dropbox directly from Android and BlackBerry smartphones, as well as Apple's popular iPad tablet.
Dropbox is tailored to match each of the devices. For example, users may capture, upload and share photos and video on Android, or enjoy a full-screen reading experience on the iPad tablet, which has sold more than 1 million units in less than a month. ReadWriteWeb has a glowing report on Dropbox for the iPad here.
Dropbox for Android and iPad are available now; the BlackBerry app will ship this summer. Dropbox is free to 2GB of storage. The company charges $9.99 per month for 50GB and $19.99 for 100GB.
Such software is handy at a time when consumers are increasingly uploading content to the Internet, embracing cloud computing as a means to not only store their data but access it from any Web app, desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
The idea is that users are no longer tethered to their desktop with on-premises software, so why should their files be trapped in those traditional data silos?
Dropbox explained its rationale in a statement: "More people than ever face the challenge of making their documents, photos and other files available and in sync across the ever-increasing group of devices they use every day. This challenge has increased as these devices-and the apps they enable-grow more sophisticated. ... Dropbox Anywhere solves this problem by making documents and media ubiquitously available across the multiple computers and devices a given user accesses in the course of a day."
Dropbox, which competes with Box.net, Glide, and other cloud file and storage access providers, also rolled out a mobile API to let programmers integrate Dropbox's file access and syncing capabilities right into their mobile apps.
Early adopters of the API include QuickOffice, which does mobile editing and creating of Office documents; Web conferencing specialist FuzeMeeting; DataViz, another Office document enabler; Avatron, which does file viewing and remote access; device backup provider Sprite Software; GoodReader document startup; dictation vendor Dictamus; and portable scanner app Jot Not Scanner.
Meanwhile, Android has seen some serious love from software makers of late.
In recent days, consumer finance software maker Mint launched an Android app, Mozilla released a beta for the Fennec mobile browser for Android, and Skyfire launched Version 2.0 of its mobile browser for Android.