In short, the button lets you launch desktop applications right from the web — if you’re previewing a file in your browser that already lives in the Dropbox folder on your computer, you can just open it immediately in its native application.
In other words, Dropbox is closing the gap on mobile. Being able to view content shared with you directly within the Dropbox mobile app is an entirely new paradigm in our apps that required us to re-engineer large parts of our codebase.”
The addition essentially means that tapping on a Dropbox shared link on your mobile device will open the file or folder right in your Dropbox app. As a result, you get previews for documents and photos, as well as a straightforward way to save the file or folder directly to your Dropbox account. With offices around the wor…read more >>
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Until now, opening a shared link would send you to the Dropbox sign-in page on your mobile browser. Mobile productivity is a big priority for the company, and though Berggren thinks it is “still early” days, the company wants to reduce the number of clicks (or taps) to get work done, while also supporting more and more platforms.
Dropbox today updated its app for Android and iOS to finally properly support shared links. “Given that in-app shared links span not only iOS and Android, but also the mobile web and our platform, we spent a few months building and fine-tuning the feature,” Henrik Berggren, product manager at Dropbox, told VentureBeat. Today, over 300 million people across every continent rely on Dropbox to get stuff done. The change means that you can now finally “use all the same Dropbox features for shared content as you do with your own content,” Berggren said.
If the file or folder is already in your account, the Dropbox app will open it so you can move, rename, or favorite it for offline access. Android users can choose to always directly open files within the Dropbox app, while iOS users simply select “Open in app” when they tap a shared link.
Dropbox can now open shared links on Android and iOS | VentureBeat | Cloud | by Emil Protalinski
Today’s release is only for Android and iOS. “There were also a number of new and interesting technical challenges we needed to solve. Earlier this month, Dropbox added an Open button to its desktop client. This shouldn’t be surprising; with Windows 10 around the corner, and Dropbox increasingly working closer with Microsoft, we expect a universal app that works on PCs as well as mobile devices is in the works.
Dropbox is the home for your most important stuff–now we’re bringing it to life with a growing family of products. Furthermore, because Dropbox supports Microsoft Office not just on the desktop but on mobile too, if the shared link is to a Microsoft Office file, you can edit it right from the Office apps (Word, Excel, or PowerPoint) on your Android or iOS device.. As for Windows Phone, Dropbox told VentureBeat it has a different launch plan and roadmap for the platform. You can download the new version now directly from Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
This may seem like a very straightforward feature, but Dropbox does have to ensure it works properly across various devices (this update doesn’t change the Dropbox app’s requirements: Android 4.0.3+ or iOS 7+)