Dropbox Carousel comes to iPad and web today, Android tablets soon
Ever since the first cloud storage services hit the web, they've been a prime destination for thousands upon thousands of uploaded photos. Unfortunately, many of those services don't have polished user interfaces that allow for easy viewing and sharing -- unless you're just a big fan of file manager-esque folders and list views. In April, Dropbox debuted Carousel, an app that seeks to solve that problem by grouping your images together by date and letting you scroll through endless years of photos and sharing your favorites with friends and family. The service was only offered on iPhones and Android smartphones until today, when Dropbox announced that it's now available for iPads and the web, with support for Android tablets coming in the coming weeks.
The concept and interface is almost exactly the same, with the biggest difference being that the app now takes advantage of your full screen. Additionally, having the service on your tablet and PC will give you much-needed continuity with your photos and conversations. It's the natural next step for Dropbox. On top of that, you'll also be able to share those priceless memories on Instagram and WhatsApp (it's new to iOS, though Android users are already enjoying that option).
Carousel's simplicity makes for a pretty interface, similar to the iOS photos app, but we'd love to see more options to customize and organize content. For instance, there's no way to group photos by anything other than date, so you can't simply put together a family section or images from every Disneyland trip you've ever taken. Also, there are times in which larger thumbnails appear in your standard grid of pics, but you have no control over which ones to enlarge, and there's no way to rearrange them. There's also little incentive to use Carousel's conversations feature when you already have SMS and MMS threads available. Dropbox insists that its primary focus for now is on simplicity, so it doesn't want to add complexity to the user experience -- and perhaps it's working on a way to add more options and features and maintaining its simple look in the process, but the company's taking things one step at a time for now. The free app should be available for iPads today, and head over to Carousel's website and sign in to check out the service.
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