Whenever a company with an established app comes out with a new version, it is a gamble. Not unlike a movie studio releasing a sequel, if there are not enough new ideas, why bother to see the sequel? But if the sequel changes too much, the natives might revolt! As it is with apps that overhaul the user interface. With the latest version of the hugely popular Dropbox app, the app creators have been trying to change the overall theme to make it appear less complex, with fewer lines and less flashy colors. In some places, icons have completely replaced text labels, such as in the footer. The idea, no doubt, as Dropbox gets more complicated as it handles many different kinds of data, is to not deter new users from trying the app for their first time. Let’s take a look at the improvements that have been made to the new Dropbox app for iOS.
Improvements to New Dropbox App for iOS
The logo for Dropbox and the app icon on the home screen have been changed. Whilst this is a minor tweak, it is not coming without some consternation from iPad and iPhone users. The main complaint is that the redesign makes the icon pop-out from the rest of the app icons displayed on the home screen. Many Dropbox users would like the option to choose whether to use the old or the new logo, rather than be forced to accept the new logo design.
A nice improvement is the Photo browser which displays all the photos Dropbox can find, in a four column display (on the iPhone) down the screen, which you then scroll down with your finger. For the iPad with its larger screen real estate, the four photo wide grid is on the left and a preview of the image is shown in a large area on the right of the screen.
While Dropbox does indeed display the photos that it finds stored in your account that were uploaded from any device, it does not currently seem to support third party photo upload apps that can interface with Dropbox and perform their own uploads.
The photo part of the app is improved with a full screen display that removes all distractions from near the image and has the ability to swipe around seamlessly between the images stored in the Dropbox. Certainly for the iPhone version of Dropbox, the Photo Browser feels very similar to the iOS default image browser and so users should understand it intuitively.
As with the previous iOS version, it is sadly still not possible to add a star to an individual image in order to highlight it.
Limitations of the Mobile App
The most common complaint, even with the latest version, is that Dropbox users are still not able to organize their stored data easily. For the iOS version, one cannot sort stored files by date, type, or size. This continues to be a glaring omission. Whilst this might not be much of an issue for the average user who does not breach the free Dropbox storage capacity, for premium paying users with larger storage capacity and more folder complexity, this continued limitation is discomforting.