The latest version of the Dropbox software lets Windows and Mac users automatically upload photos just by plugging in their cameras.
Dropbox users who find it a hassle getting photos off their camera and onto their online storage site now have a way to avoid the middleman.
The new Dropbox 1.4 software for Windows, OS X, or Linux can automatically upload photos not just from a camera, but from a smartphone, tablet, SD card, and just about any other gadget that houses your images.
How can Dropbox users set this up? Here's how it works in Windows:
First, install the new version of Dropbox. Then right-click the Dropbox icon in the System tray and select Preferences. You should see a section that says Import photos and videos using Dropbox. Click the link to Change Autoplay Settings. In the AutoPlay window, look for the devices that you want to include in the automatic upload, such as your camera, phone, or tablet. Make sure the setting next to the device says "Open Device Stage."
Now when you plug in your device, an AutoPlay window will pop up asking what you want to do with that device. Select the option to import photos and videos using Dropbox. A Dropbox window then pops up to start the import and ask if you want to automatically import your photos each time you plug in the device.
I tried the process with my iPhone, and it worked quite smoothly. Dropbox created a new folder called Camera Uploads where it deposited all the photos from my phone's library. I was able to then view my uploaded photos on the Dropbox site at their full quality, including a photo of our cat -- Miss Kitty.
The automatic upload in the new Windows and Mac software mimics the same feature in Dropbox's Android app.
Of course, you may not want all your photos automatically uploaded if hundreds or thousands of them are stored on your camera or SD card.
To handle a huge amount of images, Dropbox is promising 500MB of space for your first automatic upload and an additional 3GB for free as you upload more photos. Otherwise, you can turn off the automatic upload in Dropbox and Windows, giving you a choice of what to do with your camera or phone each time you plug in it.