Here's how Dropbox is changing its free tier with a major update

If you want automatic photo backup, you'll need to install the Dropbox desktop app

Dropbox made some major changes to its free tier on Wednesday, including support for read-only folders, as the company released a crush of new features aimed at enhancing its users' productivity.

The biggest change users will notice: In order to automatically upload photos from their smartphones, they must install the Dropbox app on at least one Mac or PC. People who don't mind manually uploading their photos to Dropbox won't need to change anything.

Dropbox won't say how many people it expects the auto-upload change to impact. The change is aimed at helping people improve the way that they manage photos, but the company wouldn't give additional information. It seems like the change is an attempt to get a group of users who are using Dropbox only for smartphone photo backup to either dive deeper into the storage service or ditch it entirely.

It's part of broader changes the company has been making to position Dropbox as a productivity service and not just a file syncing and sharing service. By requiring more users to have the Dropbox desktop app on their computers, the company makes it easier for those people to access some of the productivity services that it's pushing out.

In the area of productivity, Dropbox Basic users now have the ability to set folders as read-only, a feature previously available only to paying customers. That means free users will be able to share their files with other people without allowing them to make changes.

Free users also get to reap the benefits of several new features added Wednesday, including an updated iOS app that supports scanning documents directly into Dropbox, and the ability to have more granular control over sharing files with other people from the Mac or Windows desktop.

Overall, these changes seem like a positive sign for Dropbox's free users, especially at a time when the company is focused on developing its paid, business-focused offerings.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?