January 30 saw the official release of the Dropbox Paper, a collaborative editing software that is meant to come as a solution for big businesses.
Dropbox Paper is not a new project. The service was first announced back in December 2015. Dropbox is a file hosting service. It currently offers file synchronization, cloud storage, and personal cloud options. It also includes client software. Now, the company is looking to expand its services.
As such, it has been developing the Dropbox Paper. The document-editing tool will work as a web app. Matteus Pan, the Dropbox product manager described it as follows. He stated that it will be a simple but flexible and creative service.
Paper was first released in beta mode. Since April 2015, it has been tested under the Dropbox Notes name. After August 2015, the service was changed to its current form. This later saw the release of the official Paper beta.
Public beta tests were initiated in August 2016. Now, the service has been fully released and should be ready for use. Dropbox Paper will enter a quite tough market. It has already been compared to Google Docs or OneNote.
And that is because of its structure. Paper in itself will be a simple tool. It will allow the user to write and edit documents. Still, the minimal service will have various features. It will be accessible from all other Dropbox services. These can be plugged in and augment the Dropbox Paper experience.
Dropbox has been focusing especially on businesses. Its latest products offer enterprise software options. The area is considered more self-sustaining and lucrative than the home consumer segment.
Dropbox Paper should nonetheless be quite inclusive. It will not focus solely on creativity. The service will allow users to import and collaborate with other services. These will include Google and Microsoft products. Through Paper, the user will be able to edit the imported files.
This option targets users that prefer or are forced to use a certain, specific service.
Rob Baesman, the Dropbox head of product, went to explain. According to him, Paper will be used in Google and Microsoft product environments. Users will not have to choose in between them. Baesman states that this is a rule, and not an exception.
Dropbox Paper is viewed as the final file destination. As it can be created elsewhere, the service can put its finishing touches. Even the most important elements and heaviest workload. From the Paper page, it can then be synced across team folders or shared directly.
Baesman divided Paper into 4 parts. He views as one part collaboration and another part online document. A part will be content hub and yet another task management tool.
Besides the service itself, Paper will also come with a series of new features. One is the Smart Sync. By using it, a company can turn its whole Dropbox account into folders. These can be accessible on PC or Mac desktop file systems.
Users should be able to work without having to switch back and forth to a browser window. Smart Sync will be an automatic, speedier sync. It will also eliminate previous storage requirements for the hard drive.
Smart Sync will be free of charge in the early-access program. But will only be accessible to business customers. Dropbox Paper will also have some restrictions.
For the moment, it is available in 21 language versions. The service will work regardless of the Dropbox plan. It will work in both a web and mobile version. Paper’s administrative features will only be accessible through a Dropbox Enterprise or Business plan.
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