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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
Cedega
New member | Level 2

This was the main reason for me to use dropbox. I'm probably going to cancel my subscription and pursue another service until it's added back.

 

It's ridiculous that this was a working feature until recently. It's also ridiculous that i have to re-sync 20GB of offline files for an arbitrary update. No one asked for this.

tashrobinson
Helpful | Level 6

I wholeheartly support this idea.  Oflline files are useless if you can't actually use them in the system.  Even if it was "unintended' it used to work this way and was great for audiofiles.  You can add me to the list that will not continue to be a paid subscriber if this isn't added back.  It was literally the only reason I'm paying for the storage space, so I can use it on my device.

JennieZ
New member | Level 2

Why fix it if it wasn't broken?
You actually made Dropbox less useful to its users. 
Honestly super curious.

WandersFar
New member | Level 2

Thanks for giving me the push I needed to quit using Dropbox. Been with you guys for over a decade now, your platform has been getting steadily worse, breaking your mobile functionality was just the final straw.

 

Whoever decided preventing a user from accessing their own files through their file system was a brilliant idea should be fired.

MaxRavenclaw
Explorer | Level 4

I was unfortunate enough to find out about this just after I had paid my yearly subscription. Actually, if I cancel now, will I lose the rest of the year or does is dropbox sensible and allows my rights until the end of the period? I don't even know how some subscriptions can basically steal your money by immediately cancelling all rights when you cancel the subscription, rather than when the time runs out for what you already paid. Assuming they don't give some of the money back, but I doubt any would do that.

tashrobinson
Helpful | Level 6

What is the vote threshold needed?  I see several ideas with less votes as accepted / delivered?   I need to know if this will be done before I renew my subscription. 

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22 votes received Status: Needs more votes

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