Connected file management service Dropbox today announced an update to its iPhone and iPad apps that will debut a trio of new features to iOS devices, bringing easier navigation, introducing communication features, and allowing the creation of Microsoft Word documents from within the app itself.
Right from the home screen the Dropbox team has decided to make big changes, doing away with a static list of files and instead curating a showcase of documents and files with which a user has most recently interacted. This way, the company suggests, “The files you’re most likely to need on the go will always be front and center.”
The recently introduced comment feature for the Dropbox website will now also be available on iOS devices. Using an “@” symbol followed by a Dropbox user’s name or email address, anyone can be brought into discussion over a particular document, with the app sending push notifications to the lock screen to ensure everyone is kept in the loop on any particular conversation.
The company also confirmed that “in the next few weeks” it would be introducing the ability to create and interact with Microsoft Office documents from within the iOS Dropbox apps. Any Word, Excel, or Powerpoint file created inside of the app will be subsequently saved to whatever Dropbox folder a user was in when creating the document, allowing instantaneous access to the file from everywhere a user can sign in to Dropbox.
As the company points out, however, the new update’s most interesting feature is not any one of its individual new aspects but how they have the potential to work together to create a unique, more streamlined experience for its users.
The best part, though, is how these features work together. For example, when you’re meeting with a client to brainstorm ideas for an upcoming project, you can use the recents tab on your iPhone or iPad to quickly pull up your last project for reference. Then you can create a Word doc to take notes as you discuss. After the meeting, you can @mention your client in a comment, so they have the notes and can add anything you’ve missed. Then when you get back to your desk, you can turn that Word doc into a full project plan.
The team also notes in its blog that while the main crux of today’s new update centers on the enterprise and work-related world, all of the features can be used for “vacation planning, apartment hunting, or whatever else Dropbox helps you do.” The new 3.9 update to Dropbox on iOS [Direct Link] will begin rolling out today, with an upcoming smaller update for in-app document editing planned for the near future.