If you’ve been using Dropbox for a while, you may not have noticed that a whole ecosystem of applications have been built up to use the service. Over time, these apps have sprung up to fill all of the little holes Dropbox left unfilled. There are apps now for just about everything.
It’s possible to sync Google Docs to Dropbox, automatically send Gmail attachments to Dropbox, play music in a browser from your Dropbox music files, encrypt your Dropbox, easily host a website or blog in Dropbox, collect URLs and web clippings to Dropbox and to automate file syncs between all of your social networks and Dropbox. You can even view all of your Dropbox files alongside your Google Docs, Box files and FTP files in the one web interface. If you want to know the best apps to do all of these things, then read on.
1. Let People Drop Stuff In Your Dropbox
DropItToMe is a service which allows you to set up a URL specifically for your friends and clients to use for uploading things to your Dropbox. You can set a password which allows them uploading access via the URL.
JotForm lets you create an online form for people to fill out, which then gets saved to your Dropbox. The JotForm forms can be hosted anywhere and you don’t need to know much about web design to use the service.
2. Connect Dropbox With Other Cloud Documents
Many people use services like InSync to perform a Dropbox-like sync for Google Docs to their home computer. But most don’t realise how easy it is to sync those files back to your Dropbox. All you have to do is change the local folder for InSync to be your Dropbox folder.
Another great tool is Otixo, which allows you to use one web interface to access all of your cloud documents, such as Dropbox, Box, Google Docs and FTP servers. We’ve written an article about Otixo before if you want to know more.
3. Add URLs to Dropbox
There is one neat little app called URL Droplet which allows you to save a URL to your Dropbox for later. It could be useful for saving all those links you don’t have time to view at work.
4. Email Attachments To Dropbox
To get email attachments into Dropbox easily, there are two really good methods. One is to set up SendToDropbox and get a unique email address for your Dropbox which you can forward emails to if you want the attachment saved. The other option is the attachments.me browser extension and website, which lets you save Gmail attachments to Dropbox from within Gmail easily, including the ability to set rules for incoming attachments.
5. Encrypt Your Dropbox
Those of us who are using the cloud heavily realise the importance of encrypting that information, as a security breach could otherwise be a disaster. There are several great tools to encrypt your Dropbox, such as BoxCryptor, DataLocker and SafeBox. MakeUseOf has a great article on how to use BoxCryptor here.
6. Edit Files From Within Dropbox
There are many reasons you might want to edit a document from within Dropbox. Using an app like TextDropApp might be a great way for you to keep notes in sync across devices and edit via a browser. WriteBox does much the same thing, although it’s designed to be a minimalist interface for writers to use.
7. Play Music From Dropbox
DropTun.es is a way to listen to your music hosted on Dropbox via a web browser. The music is streamed using either flash or HTML5 and makes for a simple, private alternative to other cloud music streaming.
8. Host A Website From Dropbox
There are a number of great apps designed to make it easy to host a website from within Dropbox. Obviously, you could do this yourself with public files and your own domain mapping. To do it more easily, there are services like DropPages, Pancake.io and ScriptoGr.am to help you. Scriptogr.am even makes it easy to create a blog using Dropbox!
9. Collect Web Clippings In Dropbox
GimmeBar is an app which lets you collect various web clippings for later use. You save them directly to your Dropbox, where they can be accessed from all of your devices. You could use it to create all sorts of things, like a private wishlist or a public story board.
10. Automate Everything Dropbox
Here at MakeUseOf, we love ITFFF because it can do some awesome syncing between your favourite social networks and online data (see our previous IFTTT articles here). It allows you to do some great automation with Dropbox, without needing to know anything about coding.
Dropbox Automator by Wappwolf is another way to automate with IFTTT-style rules, but specifically for your online storage. It supports Dropbox and Google Drive (with Skydrive and Box coming). They recommend using attachments.me with Wappwolf to sync your Gmail attachments.
We’re always writing about cool DropBox tricks. Read more here:
- The First Unofficial Guide To Dropbox
- 4 Unique and Cool Ways To Use Dropbox
- How To Run Multiple Dropbox Accounts Simultaneously [Mac]
Of course, there are many more Dropbox applications out there, including a number of apps specifically for use on mobile devices. Where there were a number of great apps to choose from we’ve listed the applications with the best free service, but that’s not to say there aren’t other great options out there. What are your favourite Dropbox apps?