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As you may know, Dropbox doesn't sync files on Android any more as of last year or so (see this, for example). They used to be in sdcard>Android>data>com.dropbox.android>files, but the new "available offline" option stores them in the cache of the Db app, which other apps cannot access (you wouldn't be able to locate them with Files, for example), to ensure their safety, I would guess. The only way to use these files on your device apart from through the Db app is to "export" them after they were made "available offline" (so basically to properly download them locally), and it is thus impossible to do what Dropbox is meant to do in the first place : read and write synced files. I personally would like to edit note files on my computer and my phone and to get them synced by Db, but there seems to be no way to reach and edit locally stored (note) files with my note-taking app.
"New files in your cloud account are automatically downloaded onto your device. [...] This is how Dropbox works on computers but not on Android. Two-way automatic synchronization should be an essential function of the official app. For whatever reason, it is not the case. Dropsync is here to fill the gap." [Dropsync app description]
But then I am not too keen on adding more complexity to my workflow, increase the likeliness of some incompatibility or other "technical issues" to emerge in the future and, moreover, to potentially put my professional and personal data into more covetous digital hands than they already are in (free apps that manipulate my data? I sense what the product might be)...
So my questions are : has anyone in here ever tried these solutions and did it work as planned? Any (unusual) worries to have regarding privacy with these solutions? And above all (@support people?), is there any way to circumvent the issue without these?
Thanks for your reply.
Well certainly, I still have the questions regarding the use of these third party apps or other workarounds, which is the very reason for me creating this thread. 🙂 I of course don't expect you as a Db support team member to take a stance on that regard, though, these indeed are questions to the community.
Not to want to seem dismissive, but "it might get implemented!" sounds a bit hypocritical, since the "similar idea" we are talking about was a "feature" that was effectively removed earlier by a change in the way Db manages local files on Android (see for example all the huffy comments in the thread you linked)...
On that regard, would you have any idea of why that was done in the first place? To ensure privacy/data safety? Overlooked in a technical change because usage analysis showed that most people do not edit files on their phones anyway? It goes against what Db essentially does on all other OSs (purely loading local files from and to the server), so I'm genuinely confused – especially so since I am biased by the issue I have and what I have read about it, which logically makes me only see the downsides of it.
Again, this only solves the issue for people who would like to get files downloaded locally. This is sufficient if you only concern is to be able to read a file (that will not get further modified, btw). I and others would like to be able to edit a file on our device and get it synced with the server. Kinda what Dropbox was meant for in the first place...
> Syncing files locally was always intended mostly for the desktop application.
Ever use Samsung Dex on a Phone? It is a desktop and something I use daily. Not being able to sync files is a complete show stopper. I edit a few files in Word for android every day. That can not be done with Dropbox as it exists now.
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