Cloud storage startup Dropbox today hosted a press event to update the press on its business, announce a few new initiatives and show off its new product: a dedicated photo and video management app called Carousel.
Though Dropbox has had basic photo management features in place in the web interface for some time now, these very very basic: you can browse photo thumbnails, rename individual snaps, move them between folders and more.
Unfortunately, Dropbox never adopted the concept of albums and events, which is how most people organize their snaps. Enter Carousel, a brand new iPhone application that lets you store and manage all your photos and videos…
“Billions of people take photos that go nowhere and want to die,” Dropbox said.
Billed as “one place for all your memories,” Dropbox says the new app stems from its acquisition from the photo startup Snapjoy in December 2012. The application is designed around photo management and sharing features, allowing you to easily email hundreds of photos in one fell swoop, save the ones others share with you and more.
As you’d expect from a photo management app, you can swipe through your photos, pinch-zoom on details, browse your collections visually based on date and location (similar to the stock iOS 7 Photos app) and lots more. The app combines the photos in your Dropbox with the snaps in your iOS Camera roll.
Here, check out the promo clip.
Carousel’s biggest selling point: automatic backup and photo organization.
For starters, the app automatically backs up new ones as you take them – yes, in full resolution. “Carousel puts a lifetime of memories at your fingertips and keeps them safe forever in Dropbox,” promises the pitch.
By the way, this makes me wonder what’s going to happen to the Photo Backup feature in Dropbox’s main iOS client. Also, Dropbox did not specify what happens when users upload photos to Dropbox from their phone. Will this result in duplicates in Carousel as on-device photos get backed up to Dropbox?
“Carousel sorts all these memories by event so you can easily travel back in time to any photo from any date,” notes the firm. Even better, because Carousel is an online service, the size of your gallery isn’t constrained by your device’s storage.
Another handy feature: private conversations, so you can relive them with friends and family and comment on photos without worrying about exposing your life events to the web at large.
To learn more about Carousel, point your browser to the official website.
Carousel will be landing on the App Store later today.
The app will be available at this link.
In other Dropbox news, the company has unleashed its popular iOS email client Mailbox unto Android. Available free in Google’s Play store, Mailbox for Android has a new feature called auto-swipe that allows the application to learn from your swipes and snoozes to automate common actions and get you closer to Inbox Zero.
The team explains:
Auto-swipe is something we wanted to release with the first version of Mailbox, but it’s only with recent improvements to our infrastructure that such a smart service has been possible.
Starting today, Mailbox uses Dropbox to sync preferences and Auto-swipe patterns across email accounts and devices. That means you get a seamless experience no matter which device or email account you use.
This is part of an ongoing integration of Mailbox into the Dropbox family — we’re working hard to craft magical experiences that are only possible on top of the Dropbox platform.
As a bonus, Mailbox will be coming to a Mac desktop near you real soon!
Billed as “the lightest, fastest, most delightful desktop mail client ever,” Mailbox for Mac is still work in progress so no ETA has been given during the announcement event.
You can sign up to get notified when Mailbox for Mac launches right here.
Mailbox supports Gmail, Google Apps and iCloud accounts so now people who live in mixed environments will be able to easily access their iCloud email on Android devices.
Last but not least, business users can now connect their personal Dropbox to their Dropbox for Business on all their devices to easily access both work and private stuff in a secure manner instead of struggling to move between personal and business Dropbox.
And if you use Dropbox to collaborate on projects, a new Project Harmony feature will let you collaborate right inside the apps you already use. As illustrated above, the new collaboration tools are available as you edit documents in Microsoft Powerpoint, Word, Excel and other Office applications.
Dropbox will be detailing Project Harmony in a blog post tomorrow.
The 700-employee startup now has 275 million users, a sharp increase over the 200 million users it had in November 2013.