At its developer conference this week in San Francisco, cloud storage giant Dropbox announced a few new developer tools, called Drop-Ins, that create a link between Dropbox and any app or online service.
The first Drop-Ins are called Saver and Chooser. True to their names, Chooser lets you choose and import your Dropbox files into other apps, and Saver helps you save files directly to Dropbox without downloading them to your hard drive or device.
The news means different things to different people. For iPhone owners who use Dropbox on their phones, this is great news. Previously, there was no way to attach Dropbox files to e-mails or use them in other apps on your phone from the iOS Dropbox app (you were only able to share a link to the Dropbox file, not the file itself).
If you have an Android phone, you won’t see as a much of a change, as you can already export Dropbox files to your device’s internal memory or other apps. However, you’ll save the few extra steps needed to find the file in Dropbox and export it to another app.
Ahead of Dropbox’s conference, several developers worked with the cloud company to add these new tools to their apps. We’ve rounded up six apps — and two Web sites — that got updated this week to include Chooser, Saver, or both to make it a little easier to find and save files in Dropbox.
Mailbox: This iOS-only app helps you quickly blast through an overflowing Gmail inbox. Now you can attach Dropbox files to outgoing e-mails by simply tapping a button and selecting the file, something the stock mail app on the iPhone and iPad can’t do.
Yahoo Mail: Yahoo’s Mail on the Web (not mobile) gives you the option to download files and photos directly to Dropbox instead of your hard drive, and attach files from Dropbox. All you have to do is either sign up for Dropbox account or sign in to a current account. Once set up, you’ll see a button to download attachments to Dropbox in your e-mails. You can find more details on Yahoo’s blog.
Shutterstock: Using the Dropbox Saver tool, Shutterstock gives you the option to download images and video directly to your Dropbox account.
PicMonkey: PicMonkey is an online photo editor that helps you make photo collages. You can now import photos from Dropbox, edit them, and then save them back in Dropbox when you’re done.
Asana: Asana is a project and task management service that help teams stay organized. The company has updated its iOS and Android apps to allow you to attach Dropbox files to tasks so others can view and download them.
Simple: Simple calls itself an alternative to traditional banking and helps you better manage your money. With Dropbox Chooser, you can attach photos, receipts, or anything else to individual transactions from the Simple iOS and Android apps. Simple says the new feature can help you remember transactions or find that place that served amazing brunch without having to dig for it.
Outbox: Hoping to end snail mail forever, Outbox scans your physical mail and sends you e-mails of everything. Dropbox says you’ll soon be able to save every piece of scanned mail — whether you want it or not — to your Dropbox account.
For a longer list of apps that are adding Chooser, Saver, or both, head over to the Dropbox Blog. The major takeaway from Dropbox’s news is that more and more apps and services will give you the option to grab Dropbox files and/or save documents, photos, and video to Dropbox. It’s a huge step for Dropbox’s goal to get all of your files off your hard drive into its cloud. Let us know in the comments if you think it’s a step in the right direction.