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Home / Mac / Dropbox clearly installs new file management software on user systems [Updated]

Dropbox clearly installs new file management software on user systems [Updated]

Update 4:06 ET: Dropbox says this was a mistake. "We recently announced a new desktop app experience that is now available in Early Access. Due to an error, some users were exposed to the new app for a short while accidentally. The problem has been solved even though it may be one short storage for some users to see resolution. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. "

Initial post: Hello Dropbox users, how has Dropbox been to you lately? Big changes come to the Dropbox desktop app. The company announced its "New Desktop Experience" in June, and earlier it was opt-in. Recently, however, several users on Twitter and on the Ars Orbiting HQ have reported being "upgraded" to this radically different version of Dropbox.

This new version of Dropbox will be … a file manager? Instead of the minimal sync application, the Dropbox icon now opens a large, multi-panel, blue and white window that displays all of your Dropbox files. It looks like Slack, if Slack was a file manager. You can now "star" folders so important that they pop up in the left panel (again, like a slack chat room). The middle panel displays the Dropbox files, and the right panel displays a preview of comments and sharing options. You can search for files, sort by name or date, and do all the usual file operations like cut, copy and paste. It's a file manager.

Much of the Dropbox's appeal is (was?) That it's a dead single product: it's a cloud folder! Put things in the folder and it seamlessly backs up and syncs with all your other computers. Part of using Dropbox means installing the sync app to your computer, and to keep everything fresh and up-to-date, Dropbox has the ability to set this app from time to time. By using this mechanism to make a larger, more inflated, completely different version of the Dropbox app on people's computers, … seems wrong, especially without any notice. Updates are one thing, but many [19659030] users (your author is included) feel that there was a lack of consent here.

Nobody wants a file manager from Dropbox. Whether you're a Windows, Mac, or Linux user, all our computers come with file handlers and they work fine. The Dropbox app already adds Dropbox-specific features such as sharing to the stock file manager, and having a separate, different file manager for a single folder on your computer makes no sense.

This new update implements various weird or workflow break changes depending on which OS you are on. In Windows, double-clicking the tray icon no longer opens your Dropbox folder, and instead opens the Dropbox file manager. At macOS, Dropbox now likes to repeat a Dropbox dock icon. You can remove it, but it will reappear every time you restart your computer. Dropbox support says it is not possible to turn off this dock icon. On Linux, well, Dropbox doesn't care enough about Linux to send the file manager over. Lucky penguins.

By default, your way to start Dropbox will now open the Dropbox file manager instead of the Finder on a Mac or Explorer on Windows. However, you can change this. Just open the Dropbox preferences, and in the "General" tab you'll see an "Open folders in" option. If you have been upgraded to "New Dropbox Experience", this will say "Dropbox", just change it to "Explorer" or "Finder", and Dropbox will be a bit more normal.

Dropbox has pushed a lot of disturbing changes in its user lately. Along with this new, new app experience, the company has recently added a device limit to its free usage class. You used to be able to connect unlimited devices to your free Dropbox account, but now "Basic" users are limited to three devices, including iOS and Android devices, which do not even sync files as the desktops do.

Dropbox was Rolig one of the network's best services for many years, and after much growth, the company held a stock exchange announcement last year. Since then, the shares have struggled over their IPO price, and it is clear that the company is becoming more aggressive in trying to convert users and get people to process Dropbox as more than "just a folder".

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