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This article was published on August 20, 2015


Dropbox wants to store your bookmarks, but it’s not the right tool for the job

Dropbox wants to store your bookmarks, but it’s not the right tool for the job
Abhimanyu Ghoshal
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Abhimanyu Ghoshal

Managing Editor

Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and Abhimanyu is TNW's Managing Editor, and is all about personal devices, Asia's tech ecosystem, as well as the intersection of technology and culture. Hit him up on Twitter, or write in: [email protected].

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.

link-support-gif

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:

What am I to make of this, Dropbox?
What am I to make of this, Dropbox?

And here’s the item preview page:

Good luck remembering what you saved this link for
Good luck remembering what you saved this link for

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.

New: Drag and drop URLs into your Dropbox, to store links alongside your files [Dropbox Blog]

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