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Weekly Wrap-Up Thing 19: File sharing – Dropbox

7 Oct

Hi fellow ANZ23mobilethings explorers

The wrap-up for last week’s Thing 18 : Productivity Apps had the excuse of America’s Cup fever for a rather quiet week. This week we’ve lost that excuse, and until a couple of hours ago there were no comments on any of the social media platforms, so thanks Cath S for pointing out that sometimes we just need reminding that there are easier ways to do things. I too sometimes find myself carting around (and losing) flashdrives, and emailing files to myself and then losing track of where the most recent version is.   Just today I had to drive into work to email out an agenda I’d saved onto a work network drive, but then found our work VPN access has been out all Sunday. I was kicking myself for not saving the file to Dropbox or another file-sharing site.

Perhaps one of the reasons for the lack of discussion on filesharing sites, is that they’ve become such a routine part of our digital lives that we’ve started to take them for granted. Last year Dropbox claimed to have over 100 million users. Dropbox has been voted one of the top 10 mobile apps on both Android and iphone. Because these apps are free and very straightforward to use, I suspect that most of us are already using them daily. Once we start using them they quickly become indispensable, and definitely increase our efficiency. Saving my main financials spreadsheets to Dropbox, means I literally have the figures I need at my fingertips.

Karen’s 23 Mobile Things comments on using Evernote, and explains how she is continually finding more uses for Evernote  for file sharing. She’s use it for sharing notes with fellow students, taking photos and notes at conferences, and her example screen shot shows what a tremendous productivity booster it can be. She also finds it synchs with all devices and is enjoying the iOS 7 update.

If you haven’t tried out a file-sharing app on your mobile device, give one a trial. there are plenty of tables comparing various features, including  their capacity and restrictions, such as those on Gizmodo and even Wikipedia

There are also apps now that can synch together various cloud file-sharing apps, eg,  CloudHQ ,  which can replicate and consolidate files from all your file-sharing services.

Looking at comments on other file-sharing app sites and blogs, there is a common thread of people loving DropBox’s simplicity, speed and reliability. Also many people make use of a number of these systems simultaneously, in order to maximize their free quota of storage space. It’s also worth checking out the comments on file sharing from  23MobileThings from a couple of months ago

For some light relief check out this story about a stolen iphone where the thief forgot to disable Dropbox, and therefore inadvertently shared all the photos he took with the rightful phone owner who has been sharing them with the world via Social media

Finally huge thanks to Sally Cummings, for her very detailed introduction to the File Sharing Apps. She includes many excellent starting places for exploring these apps. Extremely useful!

Vivienne Sutton @sciencelibr

Thing 19: File sharing – Dropbox

30 Sep

This week’s thing is file sharing using mobile devices. The portability of mobile devices makes them an ideal tool for accessing and sharing files on the move. We will look at sharing / syncing files across multiple devices (eg. your smartphone, tablet and PC), and sharing files with other people.

DISCOVER

Dropbox is a popular cloud storage tool for accessing and sharing files on mobile devices. It has apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and KindleFire. Files can be added to Dropbox by syncing from another device (including a PC) or directly added to the Dropbox mobile app. Dropbox also has a Camera Upload function that enables photos taken on a mobile device to be automatically or manually added to Dropbox. Dropbox files can be shared by sending a download link to another person, or by inviting others to a shared folder.

Dropbox Camera Uploads
Dropbox Camera Uploads by Magnus Jonasson

Bump is a different way to share files with other mobile users. When two people have the Bump app open on their phones, they can share files, contacts and/or photos by bumping the two mobile devices together! Bump is also able to access Dropbox files for sharing in this manner.

Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service provided by Google. One of Google Drive’s strengths is the ability to edit files on your mobile device, making it a great tool for collaborative work.

Evernote, previously discussed in Thing 17, can also be used for sharing files across devices and with other people.

EXPLORE

Download the Dropbox app and create a Dropbox account. To get the most out of it, you may also wish to also install Dropbox on your PC or other devices. Add a file to Dropbox and watch it appear on another device with Dropbox installed. Try sharing a file from Dropbox by emailing a link to yourself.

If you can find a friend with Bump installed on their smartphone, try swapping contact details by bumping your phones together. You could also share a file between your mobile phone and PC by bumping the phone against the PC’s space bar (yes, it really works!).

Check out the 23 Mobile Things Pinterest board on file sharing and Dropbox for more information about file sharing using mobile devices.

THINKING POINTS

Do you have a favourite file sharing tool? Have you ever used it to share files or collaborate with other people on library projects or presentations?

Dropbox and other file sharing tools are a great way to collaborate with colleagues in other locations and/or organisations, however it is worthwhile checking whether your workplace has any restrictions in place regarding the use of such a service.

Consider privacy and confidentiality issues in relation to storing personal information in the cloud – this article touches on some of the potential legal and ethical issues surrounding client confidentiality and trade secrets.

Sally Cummings @sallysetsforth

 

Note from Kate: Thanks Sally for an amazing introduction to Dropbox.  Don’t forget to check out 23MobileThings post on Dropbox as well.

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