Update: Dropbox has clarified to us that this feature is being tested and may not be implemented more widely. We’ve updated this article’s title to reflect that. Our original report follows below.
If you have a photo management app without much in the way of a USP, how do you differentiate? If you’re Dropbox, you play on your storage credentials and add a feature that will help users maintain free space on their phones and tablets.
In an email sent out to some users of Dropbox’s Carousel app today (including me), the company explains that the new feature will send a push notification when device storage is getting full. It will then offer to free up space by deleting images from your device that have already been backed up to your Dropbox account.
The addition of this feature may have been prompted by Apple’s introduction in iOS 8 of the ability for third-party apps to delete photos from a device. However, given the sheer number of photo backup options available from rivals like Facebook and Amazon – not to mention Apple and Google themselves – it may not be a USP for Carousel for long. Still, if you swear by Dropbox, it’s a convenient feature to have.
The feature also encourages users to think of Carousel as their main photo library. If you take photos on both iOS and Android devices, this might not be a bad idea as it keeps them all in one place.
The email I received doesn’t give a timeline for a full rollout of the feature, but it does say that users in receipt of the email have “been chosen to get a sneak peek before anyone else.” Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I have plenty of space on my iOS and Android devices so haven’t been able to test it. We’ve been in touch with Dropbox to ask for more information about a potential wider rollout.
Dropbox added iPad and Web apps for Carousel last week.