Dropbox Unveils 'Carousel', Its Photo Managing App
Dropbox today unveiled the new way to manage, view and share all of your photos and videos. The new standalone app called Carousel provides the functionality to view the photos stored in your Dropbox account and on your mobile device, sorting them into event timeline based on dates these photos were taken. The app is able to automatically upload the new photos and videos to the Dropbox, and share the large photo collections in just few seconds.
Fast, Easy and Elegant
One of the advantages of Carousel is ability to browse through very large collections of photos very quickly. It also doesn't matter how much physical space you have on your mobile device, because the photos stored in the cloud. The viewing experience is very simple and streamlined, while every aspect of the app feels elegant and solid.
With Carousel, Dropbox is focusing on quick sharing of large photo collections. Since all the photos are automatically uploaded to the cloud, there is no need to upload them again when you want to share them with your friends or family. You can share the photos to any email address or phone number, even if the recipient doesn't have a Dropbox account. The app also provides an easy way to save the photos you receive from other Carousel users. All you have to do is to click on 'Keep Photos' button in your conversation window.
I like the concept of Carousel app, but, in my opinion, there are some areas that can be improved. The biggest one is its price. Carousel is limited to the space of your Dropbox account, which provides 2GB for free, so when you need more (and you will probably do) you have to pay at least $99 per year for a Pro account with 100GB of storage space. For some people, ad-free experience plus rather reliable service will worth the money, but for many it will be a little too expensive. Considering the similar offerings from companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Apple, It will be interesting to see what kind of reaction Carousel will get from the general user.
The simplicity of Carousel is its advantage, but at the same time a limitation as well. There is no way to customize the photo viewing experience or filter what photos you want to appear in the timeline. Personally, I have a lot of work related photos in my Dropbox and I don't want them to mix with my personal photo library, but for now there is no way to do so.. You can hide photos, but the process is time consuming and ineffective.
Dealing With Existing Libraries
I also have a lot of scanned photos or files without the metadata. It means there is no way to find out when these photos were taken, so the whole idea of viewing photos in from of timeline becomes useless. I reached to the Carousel team and asked what should I do with photos without the metadata. Below is a reply I've got from them:
Dropbox determines the dates for your photos from the metadata (information that cameras attach to photos, such as time and date)associated with each photo.
Unfortunately if a photo is missing the time or date, there is no way to add this information using Dropbox. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
If a picture doesn’t appear in your Carousel, it might not have a date associated with it. Go to the Missing Dates section to find your photo!
Video from Dropbox, introducing the Carousel
Good Idea, Weak Execution
Carousel is aiming to become the best choice of photo managing app for users who want simple and easy way to backup their photo libraries to the cloud and share it with friends and family. Personally, I think that Dropbox released a very promising and ambitious app. Maybe I won't be using it as my to-go photo managing app, but I will definitely continue to follow its development progress.