How Dropbox Is Improving Workflow with New Extensions

Using technology to complete tasks for your business or personal use has come a long way since the early days of word processors and dot matrix printers. The arrival of email and productivity suites expanded capabilities, but now the cloud has opened the door to a new era where there are more and better productivity tools for both employees and individuals. Dropbox is introducing extensions to make it even easier to use tools on different platforms.

Dropbox Extensions

Dropbox has a new way to make the experience a bit more user-friendly. The new Dropbox extensions will create one seamless user experience. Dropbox is moving from a place just to store your files to a place where you can work and collaborate on those files.

In the past, Dropbox has utilized APIs that enabled those who used Adobe, Google, Autodesk, and Microsoft to access the content they stored in Dropbox.

Now, Dropbox has announced new partnerships with Adobe, Autodesk, DocuSign, Vimeo, airSlate, HelloSign, Nitro, Smallpdf, and Pixlr. The new extensions will use hooks into these third-party apps and services, allowing you to go directly to the productivity app from the document you want to edit.

How the Extensions Work

To work with a Dropbox file in another app, all you will need to do is hover your mouse over a file in Dropbox. Then an “open with” menu will appear showing available options for working with that file. For example, when you hover over a PDF file, you will only see app options that work with PDFs. Apps like Vimeo won't be listed. When you open the file, it will open in a new browser tab so you can make the changes you need. You can save it directly, then, back to your Dropbox folder.


What You Can Do with Dropbox Extensions

Here are several examples of how you may be able to use the new extensions:

  • Create a contract and take it all the way from a draft through a final signed PDF
  • Fax documents directly from the Dropbox file
  • Annotate and edit videos and images in Dropbox
  • Give real-time feedback on files
  • Save updates to files in your shared folders,so that your whole team has the most current version.
  • Collaborate on a video file in Vimeo by having multiple people comment and annotate the files. Leave time-coded comments on specific parts of video files.

These new extensions will be available beginning November 27, and they will be available to all Dropbox users, even those on the free plan. Dropbox is starting small, with only ten integrations ready to roll, but more app partnerships are in the works. For example, Dropbox is entering a partnership with Zoom that will give users the ability to conference-call directly from Dropbox and provide access to documents found there.

Dropbox is now a starting point for tasks such as PDF editing, eSignatures, and video annotation. Should be just as easy to use your favorite combinations of apps as it is to use various tools from the same provider. These new extensions allow for fluid movement between apps. So if you are already using Dropbox to store your files, you will now be able to work with them without having to go to another platform.

Image credit: Dropbox

Tracey Rosenberger
Tracey Rosenberger

Tracey Rosenberger spent 26 years teaching elementary students, using technology to enhance learning. Now she's excited to share helpful technology with teachers and everyone else who sees tech as intimidating.

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