Cloud

Dropbox boosts collaboration and management for business users with Smart Sync and Paper

At a media event in San Francisco, Dropbox announced new document collaboration and file management tools in an effort to target more business users.

dropbox.jpg
Image: CNET

On Monday, Dropbox launched two new products geared toward enterprise use of the service. At a media event in San Francisco, the cloud company brought its document collaboration tool, Paper, out of beta, and debuted its Smart Sync file access product.

Paper is a Google Docs competitor that Dropbox originally launched in open beta back in August 2016. The product gives users the ability to collaborate on a given document through a web or mobile interface, and to utilize project management features.

With its public launch, Paper is now available in 21 languages worldwide, according to a press release. New features such as the ability to add due dates, or assign tasks to specific users, are also now available.

SEE: Dropbox bug sends years-old deleted files back to user accounts

Paper features a presentation mode, improved search and accessibility, mobile folder functionality for iOS and Android, eDiscovery and security API, and smart meeting notes with Google Calendar integration. The service is free for existing Dropbox users, and the release said that offline functionality will be coming to Dropbox Paper on iOS and Android soon.

Smart Sync used to be known as Project Infinite. The feature allows users to more easily access their Dropbox content folders from their desktop file system, while taking up almost no local disk space until the content is added, the release said.

The feature works on both Windows and Mac computers, backwards compatible as far back as Windows 7 and Mac OS X 10.9. Smart Sync is cross-platform, and works with all files and folders in a Dropbox Business account, the release said.

"Paired with the recently released Dropbox team folders, Dropbox becomes a centrally manageable, secure hub for teams to work together on all their files," the release noted.

Dropbox also announced that it had redesigned its web interface to be more focused on teams, and to make it easier to separate work and personal accounts. The new home page for Dropbox shows an activity feed of team updates on Dropbox content as well.

Dropbox also announced three new business pricing plans:

  • Standard ($12.50/user/month, starting at five users) for teams needing powerful storage, sharing, and collaboration tools.
  • Advanced ($20/user/month, starting at five users) for teams and businesses seeking more sophisticated admin, audit, and integration features.
  • Enterprise (contact for pricing details) for larger businesses requiring scalable custom solutions with individualized support.

The announcements come a few days after a bug was discovered in Dropbox that restored files back to user accounts that were deleted years ago. However, the bug seems to have been addressed.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Dropbox recently released Paper, its document collaboration tool, to the public, alongside its smart sync file management product.
  2. Paper is available in 21 languages, and is expected to compete with the likes of Google Docs.
  3. Smart Sync makes it easier for users to access their Dropbox content from their desktop, in an effort to free up disk space when content isn't being accessed.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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