Dropbox just introduced simple URL bookmarking inside its folder system. Just drag and drop an URL from your desktop browser tab to another open tab with Dropbox.com. It also works by dragging a URL from your desktop web browser to File Explorer or the Mac Finder.
Adding URLs is also possible in all their mobile apps via the sharing function inside Chrome and Firefox on Android, Safari on iOS, and on Windows Phone 8 via the share contract inside Internet Explorer.
The new URL will appear as a file alongside your other files, synced across all your devices.
This feature seems like a natural addition, since a folder system is often used to organize a project, event or anything else. Collecting a web page as a resource in the same location as a file is a simple and useful step forward in organizing your work.
Here’s how Dropbox describes the new feature:
Now, you can drag and drop URLs into your Dropbox — on the web and on your desktop — and open them on any of your devices. This means you can take your bookmarks anywhere, instead of having them confined to a certain browser on a certain computer. But it also means you can organize all your information, no matter the format, into Dropbox folders — so your information is in one central place.
In addition to your browser’s bookmarks, there are a number of bookmarking services trying to solve the cross-device collection of URLs, including Pocket. There's also the upcoming cross-platform clipboard collector Microsoft OneClip.
But Dropbox frames the problem they’re trying to solve as part of the larger scenario of team and personal collaboration that spans varied resources.
… There are hundreds of tools and services to help people and teams get work done. But as a result, with information scattered across all those different platforms, it can be surprisingly difficult to find what you need.
They don’t specify “those different platforms” that make up the competition, but the team collaboration space includes such upstarts as Jive, Trello, Slack and Hipchat, with heavyweights like Google Docs, Microsoft’s OneDrive, Office Delve and SharePoint also in the mix, just to name a few. These companies offer a wide variety of sharing, messaging, collaboration and knowledge management solutions.
Slack, in particular, is a messaging service trying to solve the problem Dropbox described of wrangling diverse resources “scattered” in different places. In fact, Slack integrates Dropbox itself, with the vision of providing a central collaboration hub for a file, project or conversation. In addition to integrating other services, the privately-held company offers its own document hosting features.
It remains unclear where Dropbox is headed in the collaboration market. It will be interesting to see if they build meaningful integration of its well-regarded email mobile app, Mailbox, which it acquired in 2013.