Dropbox IPhone App Review

Dropbox for iPhone

This review refers to an early version of this app, released in 2011. Details and specifics of the app may have changed in later versions.

The Good

  • Free account with 2 GB storage
  • Sync and share files between devices
  • Offline viewing for favorite files

The Bad

  • Large files load slowly

Dropbox (Free) is an easy way to share and sync files, documents, and presentations between computers and iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad. It is certainly a more elegant and reliable solution than emailing files back and forth or using a thumb drive. But will it work for you?

Easy to Use With Quick Uploads

I was immediately impressed with Dropbox’s easy-to-use interface. The interface is streamlined and intuitive, and it takes no time at all to set up a free Dropbox account (if you don’t have one already) and start uploading files. The app includes a helpful tutorial that describes the various features, but you hardly even need it—everything is very straightforward. 

To test out the app, I uploaded a bunch of files, photos, and documents to Dropbox.com (the account you create within the app works here as well). Even large files uploaded very quickly. 

Once my files were uploaded, I launched the Dropbox iPhone app to see how well my files synced between devices. I was able to browse a picture gallery, view PDF documents, and share any of my files with non-users via email. I also love that you can mark some files as favorites, which enables offline viewing.  

Store Your Music Online

Dropbox is useful for more than business documents and presentations. You can upload music to your Dropbox account and listen to it from your iPhone, iPad, or other computer. I uploaded several songs to my web account, and they played flawlessly, although they did take several seconds to load. That seems to be the biggest downside to Dropbox—even though I had no trouble accessing my files in the iPhone app, there was a noticeable loading pause (even with a strong Wi-Fi connection). How much time it takes to load a file depends on how big the file is, of course, so smaller files will load quicker. 

At Dropbox.com, you can download a Mac or Windows desktop client with up to 100 GB of online storage. A free account provides online access to files and up to 2 GB of storage; the Pro 100 GB must be purchased.

A Few Notes Since the Original Review

This review dates back to March 2011. Since then, a number of things about the Dropbox app have changed.

  • While Dropbox is still among the leaders in online file storage and syncing, Apple has since introduced its own tool: iCloud and iCloud Drive.
  • The Dropbox app now supports taking photos of items like receipts or whiteboards, converting them to PDF, and saving to them your account.
  • The app supports a full set of file sharing, folder sharing and permissions-management tools.
  • If you're sharing documents with others, they can now make comments on those documents.
  • You can subscribe to Dropbox from within the app for various subscription-period fees.
  • The app is a hit with users. All time, it garners a 3.5-star average rating from almost 50,000 reviews.

The Bottom Line

Dropbox is a great way to share and sync files, photos, and music online and on the iPhone. Although the files can be slow to load at times—that is one downside to cloud storage—the wait isn’t excruciating. I definitely recommend downloading Dropbox so you have access to all of your important files right from your iPhone. Overall rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.  

What You’ll Need

The Dropbox app is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. It requires iOS 3.1 or later and a free Dropbox.com account. 

This review refers to an early version of this app, released in 2011. Details and specifics of the app may have changed in later versions.