Like it or not, “the cloud” has become an essential part of modern life. At the very least, more and more people are using cloud storage to hold their files, especially the ones they need on the go or to collaborate with others. Cloud storage, however, really offers just that: storage. To do anything with the files stored in them, you often have to not only launch other apps, you also have to download and re-upload them in the process. That’s why Dropbox has developed a new Extensions system so you can do all of the things you need to do without leaving Dropbox at all.
No, Dropbox hasn’t suddenly developed the ability to sign documents or edit videos and images. Dropbox Extensions are, instead, hooks into third-party apps and services that let you jump directly into the work you need right from Dropbox. You still need to use third-party apps but you will no longer have to do the download-upload dance.
That said, you are actually being limited to only using the apps compatible with Dropbox Extensions. The cloud storage giant has partnered with the biggest names in the field, including Adobe, Autodesk, DocuSign, Vimeo, and Pixlr just to name a few. If your favorite app or service isn’t one of those, however, you’re not going to enjoy the time-saving benefits of Extensions.
Dropbox certainly isn’t stopping there and already has other partnerships in the works. It has recently teamed up with video conferencing company Zoom to not only let you access Dropbox files during a Zoom meeting, you can even start such a meeting from withing Dropbox itself. In other words, Dropbox is giving you less reasons to leave your home in the cloud just to get stuff done.
Dropbox Extensions will launch for the public on November 27. Given the announcement’s wording, it’s not something limited to paid tiers only. That said, you might have to sign up or pay for the apps and services you’ll be using with Extensions. Maybe someday Dropbox will offer some subscription package for those, too.