One great thing about an application as useful as Dropbox is that other people – like us here at MUO – find interesting ways to utilize it and make it even more useful for others. For instance, you can use Dropbox to share files, manage your photos, sync files on various platforms, and cut time off your school work. You can even recover your lost files with it. Now I’m going to show you how to chat with it as well.
What Is Chatbox?
Chatbox is a free application that adds project collaboration features to the already handy Dropbox. You can use it for commenting and annotating files or for simple project collaboration around folders with relevant files inside. Chatbox stores everything inside Dropbox, which makes installing the app extremely simple as it does not even require you to register an account.
“Chatbox makes it easy to discuss or comment on files shared over Dropbox. Install it, right click on any files / folders inside Dropbox, and start conversations with people you shared the Dropbox folder with.”
If you share a folder in your Dropbox with other people, whether it be your family members at home, a group of friends, or your co-workers at the office, you can essentially comment on important files so that the others know what is going on with them and they are kept up-to-date. Or alternatively, you can just have a playful chat around the files in your Dropbox.
Chats can occur around specific projects with Chatbox, which can be especially helpful if you’re collaborating on a large project that incorporates a lot of different files.
How Do I Use Chatbox?
To get started using Chatbox, head over to their website and download the app for OSX. Right now Chatbox is only available for Mac but you can sign up on the site to be alerted via email once Windows and Linux versions become available.
Once you install the app, using it is as simple as right-clicking on files in Finder and selecting Show Chatbox. This begins a conversation on any file in your Dropbox instantly. As stated earlier, your comments and conversations are stored inside Dropbox, so you won’t ever lose them, and they barely take up any room, in case you were worried about that.
If you share your folder with others you can invite them to join the chat as well.
Chatbox (beta) is pretty light on features in its current state, but it gives you a simple way to communicate with others sharing the same Dropbox folder as you, which is pretty useful, and it is poised to get better. From installation to usage, I was impressed with how easy the whole process was. It will be interesting to see what other features the team adds in the coming weeks to make this app even more of a necessity.
What do you think about Chatbox? Do you like the idea of using Dropbox as a chat utility?