Cloud Computing

Dropbox Gets Selective Syncing, Eats Up Less Resources

It’s hard to believe, but Dropbox has only now hit version 1.0 even though it’s been out since September 2009. The new version has brought out the much-needed selective syncing which will come in handy when you’re on the go and only need to access a subset of your Dropbox in the cloud.

Code-named "Rainbow Shell," the updated client lets you cherry-pick cloud folders to sync with a specific machine and set other selective syncing parameters.

It’s a no-brainer, really: You simply check the folders and subfolders within your Dropbox that you want synchronized with your computer. If you deselect a folder, the client app won’t download (or upload) files within this folder.

In addition to selective syncing, Dropbox now supports extended file attributes, it’s much nimbler, and has up to 50 percent smaller memory footprint, the team claims.

It also squashed over a hundred bugs and comes with fixes for a number of issues, including invalid file names on Windows, weird Unicode normalizations, Word and Excel file locking, abnormal symlinks hierarchies, case sensitive file systems on Mac, TrueCrypt support, etc.

Mac users will appreciate the fact that Dropbox now supports resource forks and other extended attributes of your files. If you’re not familiar with Dropbox, it’s a service that offers 2GB of cloud storage for free (or up to 50GB for $99 a year) and works seamlessly regardless of your platform.

Using Dropbox one can effortlessly back up their important files into the cloud and keep the Dropbox folder on all their authorized machines in perfect sync. 

For example, you update a file on your laptop and the changes are beamed to your work and home machine instantly. It’s clever, too and will only transfer the changed bits rather than the entire file. Dropbox also works blazingly fast when your synced machines reside on a local network.

Mobile Dropbox client runs on iOS and Android while its desktop counterpart supports Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux desktops. Regardless of the platform or device used, the Dropbox service in the cloud resolves file system specifics of each operating system, takes care of meta data syncing, and so forth. Dropbox also has the API to integrate with third-party applications, allowing software like the Quickoffice app for iOS to access users’ Dropbox in the cloud and retrieve documents.

Source: Dropbox blog