Dropbox and Google Docs Integration may be on its way

Dropbox and Google Docs Integration may be on its way

Summary: Dropbox, a popular cloud-based file system, may sound be working hand-in-hand with Google Docs.


Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud services that lets you store, sync, and share files over the Internet. Google Docs is one of the most popular cloud services that lets you create and edit documents, spreadsheets and presentations on the Internet. For years, people have thought that these are two good services that would work great together. Now, it looks like Dropbox may be giving us this functionality.

During the first annual Dropbox Hack Week, a happy developer was able to set up a way to "sync files between your Google Docs and your Dropbox." There's no word on when this feature will show up in Dropbox, but "many of the breakthroughs made during the past week will probably be making their way to a Dropbox near you."

Since this is a feature that users have been asking for, I suspect we'll see it sooner than later.

Before that though, it seems that we'll see Dropbox Rewind. This will let you "hop to your Dropbox at any point in the past." For its users, this could be the perfect defense against deleting files by accident and never remembering to make backups. Now, if only the university researcher who says her stolen laptop contained years worth of data related to a possible cure for prostate cancer.could have used this, she still wouldn't, at last report, be so desperate to get her MacBook back.

Dropbox users can also expect to see file system usage analytics. Of this forthcoming feature, Dropbox management only wrote, "We have to stay a little quiet on this one, but let's just say the future of Dropbox will change the way you sync files." At a guess, I'd say this is a system that will automatically sync files that are frequently accessed.

Personally, I want to see all these features. I use Dropbox and Google Docs all the time. I use Dropbox because it's free and it will let me access up to 2GBs worth of my current work files no matter whether I'm on one of my Linux laptops or desktops; a Windows PC, my MacBook Pro, my Droid 2 smartphone, or my Apple iPad.

I'm fond of Google Docs for similar reasons. While I don't tend to create many documents with it, I do tend to edit and share them with co-workers on Google Docs. Now, if Dropbox makes it easy for me to say share a document from one of my Dropbox directories to one of my friends on Google Docs even though the only "PC" I have at hand is my smartphone or tablet, I'll be one happy guy. And, I know I won't be the only happy Dropbox user doing this.

Topics: Google, Banking, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Smartphones

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  • RE: Dropbox and Google Docs Integration may be on its way

    Totally agreed, this definitely will be a perfect marriage, hope to see it very soon.
    • RE: Dropbox and Google Docs Integration may be on its way

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  • RE: Dropbox and Google Docs Integration may be on its way

    Why would this be relevant? Dropbox is still and application you need to install on your computer - and Google Docs already has file sharing...

    I'm confused here

    Robert Holland
    • RE: Dropbox and Google Docs Integration may be on its way

      @seoscale@... The benefit of Dropbox is that you don't have to think about it. If you configure your Dropbox folder to be the default folder your browser downloads to, and you get into the regular habit of saving files in your Dropbox folder, you don't have to think about "uploading" files in order to be able to access them from another machine later. It's all automatic and handled in the background. A passive system like this is a must for people who truly need to access all of their stuff, no matter which machine they are on, without needing to actively remember to upload or sync files.

      The thing is, Google Docs has a better cloud file viewer. It also has the ability to create online editable forms of these files. It also has the amazing ability to allow real-time concurrent collaborative editing of documents.

      If Google Docs had a system to automatically sync files from your machine (passively in the background), then this wouldn't be big news. Until Google does this or allows this, combining Google Docs and Dropbox would be awesome.

      Also, right now, the API allows programs to upload any file type to Google Docs, but only if it's a Google Apps account, not if it's the free standard Google Docs. The reason this is significant is because you can pay for more storage with the free standard Google Docs, but you can't yet pay for more storage with Google Apps. Also, when you WILL be able to pay for more storage with Google Apps, it will be quite a bit more expensive than adding more storage to the free standard Google Docs.
    • RE: Dropbox and Google Docs Integration may be on its way

      @seoscale@... My biggest concern is for people who want to use another word processor and have to manually upload/download files every time somebody makes changes. This would fix that.
  • Insync will eat Dropbox's lunch...

    You haven't heard of them just yet...but soon to be Insync will give Dropbox a run for its users. Check out www.insynchq.com
    • Seriously doubtful


      That's seriously doubtful. Dropbox reaches a far larger set of platforms and devices than Insync. From what I've seen on Insync's website, it's pretty much only about gdocs and basic file synchronization on Macs.

      . . . and I worry a bit about "data de-duplication" - sending a hash of file data is prone to errors due to hash collisions.
  • Awesome

    That would be awesome. I've always held the opinion that I prefer a hybrid online/offline solution better than a pretty much completely online solution.
  • Syncplicity

    Syncplicity has been doing this forever and with no single folder limitation to boot: http://blog.syncplicity.com/2010/01/12/syncplicity-enhances-sync-and-cloud-computing-for-google-apps/
  • RE: Dropbox and Google Docs Integration may be on its way

    Dropbox is a nice service -- especially when 2gb are free. I have also found that it actually works better on my linux system (my primary computer), than on a windows system, since I can easily use symbolic links in the Dropbox application on my desktop in linux. Using links, I don't have to remember to save anything in Dropbox, since any activity in my primary document file is automatically sync'ed with Dropbox via link files. That works flawlessly in both directions, with far less fuss than in a windows environment (among many other things, I might add). The real jewel, however, is to allow synchronization between folders/files on a computer with gdocs, without the necessity of an intermediary like Dropbox. Ideally this would include reproduction of the file structure on gdocs (eg, create and sync sub-folders), which is not even possible now on a manual basis.
  • RE: Dropbox and Google Docs Integration may be on its way

    I don't think this marriage will ever happen. Dropbox's profits comes from "renting" cloud disk space. Google Docs offers a similar option.

    So having Dropbox sync with google docs will mean dropbox will put money in google's pocket.