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Make offline files visible in the android filesystem

Make offline files visible in the android filesystem

andersmusikka
Explorer | Level 4

I think you should make files stored offline on Android available in the file system.

 

As it is now, the dropbox files marked as 'available offline' are hidden from the rest of the operating system. This gives a number of problems:

 

1: When opening a file in an app, that app may put the file path in its 'most recently used documents'-list. However, since the path it gets from the Dropbox-app is not long-lived, the 'most recently used documents'-list becomes unusable, since the links on it become dead rather quickly.

2: It makes using browsing apps, like photo viewers or podcast players, on your offline files impossible.

3: Some apps expect content to be found on the file system. For example, the samsung app used to download content onto a samsung smart watch, expects to find files in the file system. It cannot be used to download files from dropbox onto the smart watch.

4: Sometimes a smart phone is used a bit like a computer. Like uploading files to an FTP-server and the like. A FTP-client typically expects to find files on the file system, and allows them to be selected and uploaded. This does not work with Dropbox.

 

A possible  work-around is to export the contents from the dropbox offline folder onto the phones regular file system. This is unsatisfactory because:

 

1) It feels cumbersome. The number of clicks to send a podcast episode to a smart watch, or to download a .pdf from dropbox and upload to an FTP-server, becomes a few too many.

2) For files which can be edited (like password manager saves, various profiles, text documents etc), the user needs to remember to copy the file back to Dropbox, which is very error prone.

 

Dropbox obviously already has technology to synk a file system folder with dropbox. Could not this functionality be offered on smart phones also?

 

 

26 Comments
natau
Explorer | Level 3

I use another app for viewing images in Dropbox because of annoying prev/next, zoom, and panning usability flaws in the Dropbox image viewer. I can't any more, which is super inconvenient.

Raphael Lee
Explorer | Level 3

this was the key feature to choose Dropbox over other options. Why was it removed? 

carlduckels
Explorer | Level 4

As a long time paying user of Dropbox, I absolutely view this enforced change as a massive step backwards. Paid users don't necessarily want to use Dropbox apps as part of their work flow, I certainly don't.

 

Please give your paying users the option to allow other apps on an android device to access Offline Files. Or rename the Offline Files feature to "Unuseful Hidden Files Only Accessible Through the Dropbox App".  As sarcastic as that reads, it's certainly how I see it. 

 

As others have said, Dropsync works well, but the fact we've had to seek this third party application proves how the new restriction is not what your users want. I don't want to have to install a third party application to fix the feature that has been removed from the Dropbox Android app.

 

If this isn't resolved I'll most probably stop paying for Dropbox and find an alternative that doesn't have this restriction. There are certainly many cheaper or even free options as mentioned by others.

 

Please listen to your users, thank you.

andersmusikka
Explorer | Level 4

I see  many people agree with the idea presented here. Still, the idea has only 1 vote. So please vote for the  idea if you like it! 🙂

carlduckels
Explorer | Level 4

This is odd, when I placed my comment, I voted and it said I was the 14 to vote.

 

Its now saying 0 votes!? 

MaxRavenclaw
Explorer | Level 4

What the... I had voted, and now my vote is gone, and when I vote again it won't remain voted...

carlduckels
Explorer | Level 4

I think the voting system is a little bit broken here. I went to vote again, and it cancelled my vote and said there were 12 votes. It was definitely 14 when I voted originally. If you have voted for this, I'd suggest checking you've not unvoted by trying to vote again (if that makes sense)...

carlduckels
Explorer | Level 4

FYI, there should be a a BLUE box under the original question at the top. This will be WHITE if you have NOT voted. See below... 

 

Screenshot_20210120-162438.jpg

 

Screenshot_20210120-162421.jpg

Ben Anderson
New member | Level 2

Mine is showing 12 votes, and that I did vote for it. I am surprised more people aren't voting for this. It really reduces the value of Dropbox on Android.

MaxRavenclaw
Explorer | Level 4

I still don't understand why they took the feature away. It existed a few months ago. Why REDUCE functionality?

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21 votes received Status: Needs more votes

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