Dropbox has updated its Web and mobile apps to let you add links to your cloud storage. It’s about as strange as it sounds, and it could have been a cool feature, had it been executed better.
On desktop, you can now drag and drop links from any website right into your Dropbox to save it as a .url item. On mobile, you can share links or active Web pages from browsers to Dropbox.
The trouble is, your .url item has no description, no recognizable icon and no thumbnail preview. This is what I got when I saved a link from our site to my Dropbox account:
And here’s the item preview page:
Why on earth would I want to save links this way? I can’t tell what it’s about, why I saved it or what the destination page looks like. And if I were to use this often, my cloud storage would just contain a huge bunch of links that I wouldn’t know what to do with.
Given that I use Dropbox across all my desktops and mobile devices, it could indeed have served as a good place to stash bookmarks. But the company seems to lost the plot halfway through the development of this feature.
At a minimum, links should automatically name themselves and jump into a default bookmarks folder when added. They should also have a preview image and pull in the favicon from each page, and prompt you to add a label for better organization.
Those are just the basics, and there’s a lot more that can be done to enhance the bookmarking experience. I hope that this is just the first step in Dropbox’s grand plan to build out a full-fledged bookmarking service — but if this is all the service can do with links, I won’t be surprised to see it disappear in a future update for lack of use.