I’ve been getting this occasional ‘Storage Almost Full’ alert on my phone for the past few months now..
Why am I so low on storage? Because the majority of my 16gb iPhone’s space is taken up by photos and videos.
I have them all backed up but I’m reluctant to delete the majority of them because I love going back through my camera roll and looking at old pictures. So every few weeks I’m forced to clear up space by going back through my old photos and deleting the ones from my phone that I can live with just being backed up online.
A first world problem no doubt, but a big annoyance and toleration.
So when I heard about the new Carousel app from Dropbox today I was excited to check it out.
I didn’t really see the benefit at first though. Ok – so it shows my photos in a cool timeline and I can share and message friends within the app.. but I can do those things with the standard camera roll app.
Then I saw this quote from Drew Huston and it made sense:
“When I’m looking at the photos on my phone, I see photos I took with the phone, but I don’t see pictures from my computer or anything else. Instead of one shoebox, I have many shoeboxes.”
Dropbox is trying to replace your default Photos app and make it so that you can see not only the photos taken on your phone – but ALL of your photos (if you’re a paying customer of Dropbox that is).
And thats why it makes sense why this is a stand alone app. That’s why they spun it out instead of just improving the ‘Photo’s tab in the Dropbox iPhone app. This is the same strategy used by Facebook and why there is a separate ‘Messaging’ app, Facebook Camera and Paper.
Your Best Photos vs. All of them
Facebook holds all of your best photos – your best vacation photos, the cutest photos of your baby etc.
Dropbox is aiming to hold those PLUS everything else, including: your more intimate, more embarrassing, less polished and if you use the ‘Hidden’ feature: more explicit photos.
With Carousel replacing the default photos app I no longer have to worry about balancing hoarding photos on my phone and maxing out my storage – now they’re all in one place.
Dropbox is really trying to de-commoditize online storage with beautiful software and a better user experience. It’s their best shot at avoiding the race to the bottom.
We shall see if that is enough to convince the average consumer to pay 5x more.