Consider this question for a second: why do people own Dropbox? So they can put stuff into it and grab stuff out. Sure, there are other features but that mission statement pretty much the bottom line for iOS use. So why is Dropbox’s iOS client so horrible?
Start with the main menu bar. After selecting an item that you want to open in another app, which of these icons do you tap? The garbage one is clearly wrong, but the ellipsis is a very muddy choice. This should obviously use the (user-facing) share/(developer-facing) actions icon instead.
Apple’s design team agrees.
Once tapped, what’s the next step for “Open in”? Move and copy make sense but you have to tap “Export”, which finally uses the actions icon to give the hint that you want to open the selected file in another application. Bad naming, although it does appear properly as the first action.
Once tapped, you next have to find “Open In”. I have a couple of blockers installed (which shouldn’t even appear in this action sheet), so you have to scroll right to find the right icon.
It’s only after I scroll right that I finally locate “Open In” and can start the progress of opening my file in an appropriate application.
- The ellipsis is a bad choice. It should be the Action/Share icon and it should directly open the Action Sheet.
- Rename and Move should be placed into a separate “File actions” menu, along with discard (the trash can). They don’t belong grouped with the Action/Share sheet, which has a specific and conventional meaning in iOS.
- The app should use care, especially with known file extensions, to limit the options presented in the sheet. “Open In” should be about the only choice for an
epubextension file, and the other actions should be constrained to the invoked context.
- Dropbox made me sad.
My view: Dropbox exists mostly because iCloud has dropped the ball so badly.
Imagine if you could use iCloud like you could Dropbox? Sharing files easily, no fuss.
But no. We have all these limitations on iCloud. Apple’s control, as usual.
So, Dropbox exists in a market where it probably shouldn’t.