Like its competitors, Dropbox used to be a simple concept — a folder on your computer that seamlessly syncs with the cloud, meaning you always have a backup of your files and an easy way to share with others across the net.
But the company’s ambitions are much bigger, as it has slowly shown: it wants to be one of the collaborative tools in your arsenal alongside heavy hitters like Google Docs, Microsoft Office, Slack, Salesforce, Trello, and Zoom, and today it’s unifying those ideas into a single new desktop app that it’s calling “the new Dropbox.”
According to the company’s blog post, it’s designed to be a kind of meta-platform that helps you organize your “work about work,” but the highlight here is the ability to create and collaborate without ever leaving the new Dropbox app — you’ll be able to start and edit Google and Microsoft-based docs, spreadsheets and slide decks (Dropbox has been working on this for a while), start Slack conversations and Zoom video conference meetings (you can share Dropbox files to each), and manage Atlassian (Jira, Trello, etc.) based projects, instead of tabbing over to each of those web apps individually.
And, it seems like the new app is laying the groundwork to let you do light project management without the help of one of those dedicated tools, too, by letting you add to-do lists, assign tasks, add comments, and see who’s been doing what with a “team activity feed.” Tell me this doesn’t look like Dropbox flexing:
There’s also a new unified search bar for all of your Dropbox, which sounds handy.
We’d need to spend a lot of time with it to see if the new Dropbox could truly be a competitor for the likes of Trello, but it’s an interesting idea. And if you’d like to just ignore the changes and use Dropbox the original way (as a folder and a task bar app), the company says none of that will change.
You can opt into an “early access” program for the new Dropbox desktop app, for Windows and Mac, right here.