April 10, 2014
Dropbox Introduces Photo Management Tool Carousel
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
On Wednesday at a press event in San Francisco cloud-based storage service Dropbox unveiled its new approach to organizing and sharing photos and videos. Dubbed Carousel, it is available now via an Android and iOS app, which can be used to organize digital media into events by time and location.
This new app, which was just one of several announcements made by Dropbox, was meant to solve the problem that many users have in storing – and more importantly organizing – digital photos and videos.
“Once upon a time, photos were something you held. You kept them safe in an album or shoebox, and it was easy to relive those moments with friends and family. Today, new apps and devices have made it easier than ever to take photos, but there’s no longer a single home for all your life’s memories,” said Ramesh Balakrishnan and Chris Lee of Dropbox via a blog post on Wednesday.
“We’d like you to meet Carousel: a gallery for all the photos and videos from your life. It combines the photos in your Dropbox with the photos on your phone, and automatically backs up new ones as you take them,” the posted added. “Carousel sorts all these memories by event so you can easily travel back in time to any photo from any date. And unlike other mobile galleries, the size of your Carousel isn’t constrained by the space on your phone, which means you can finally have your entire life’s memories in one place.”
The app can be used to not only consolidate photos in one place, but could also be used to share the photos with other people even if they don’t have the application. In this case, users can send photos or videos to friends, who will then receive an alert via SMS or email with a link to the photos.
The service is further meant to streamline the experience, and as ReadWriteWeb's Adriana Lee notes, “Watching the demo, users would be hard-pressed to tell that they’re accessing Dropbox’s cloud, rather than flipping through images stored on their phones. The interface looks very similar to apps and services like Apple's Photo Stream.”
Carousel was just one of several new products introduced by Dropbox this week.
“We’re moving from one app, called Dropbox, to a family of apps,” said Dropbox CEO Drew Houston during a launch event in San Francisco as reported by Zach Miners of IDG News Service.
Dropbox is also rolling out a new Android and Mac desktop version of its Mailbox application, while Dropbox for Business will soon arrive as a limited beta. It will allow users to have two separate Dropbox accounts; one for personal digital files and one for business documents. It will include a slew of new features including remote wipes and audits logs.
The Android version will reportedly feature an “Auto-Swipe” option that automatically predicts which email messages a user might want to delete, while the desktop version will utilize the computer’s trackpad to provide greater gesture features that are similar to those offered on the mobile version.
Dropbox has reported user growth in the first quarter of 2014, and it has seen its user base increase from around 200 million late last year to 275 million users. Dropbox offers a free account with 2GB of storage as well as fee-based options that provide users with more capacity.
It was also announced this week that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had joined Dropbox’s board of directors.
“We’re proud to welcome Dr. Condoleezza Rice to our Board of Directors,” Houston posted on the company’s blog on Wednesday. “When looking to grow our board, we sought out a leader who could help us expand our global footprint. Dr. Rice has had an illustrious career as Provost of Stanford University, board member of companies like Hewlett Packard and Charles Schwab, and former United States Secretary of State. We’re honored to be adding someone as brilliant and accomplished as Dr. Rice to our team.”
Dr. Rice was one of three new changes to the leadership team at the cloud-based storage company. Sujay Jaswa, who was the company’s first business executive, was promoted to CFO, while Dennis Woodside will join the company as the COO.