11 Android Utilities to Make the Most of Dropbox

Over the last couple of years, Dropbox has quickly become one of the stellar file storage and synchronization services that every computer or mobile enthusiast knows and uses religiously. The idea is simple: 2GB free of storage, upgradable, applications for Windows and Mac OSX, and an effortless sync process between many devices. Dropbox also has an Android application on the Market, but everyone who has used the service knows that its power can be pushed way beyond what that official software offers.

Here, we will take a look at 11 different utilities, in varying categories, that make the most of Dropbox’ seamless cloud synchronization and help you keep everything neatly backed up and available on multiple devices. Where possible, we will mention similar applications that fit in the same category and also work with Dropbox.

Epistle

We all have some important notes or text files that we want to have access to constantly, without having to worry about transferring them or synchronizing them. Epistle is the solution to that. It’s a simple .txt editor, letting you type and edit your notes and important information, while easily synchronizing them with a folder on Dropbox so you can access them from any computer or other mobile device.

Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.5 and up
Market Link: Epistle
Developer: kookLab
Similar to: MyNotes Pro, Simple Notepad, MobileNoter SE, Notes In The Box Pro
Read: Full Android AppStorm Review

Quickoffice Pro

When it comes to viewing and editing Office documents on Android a few names come to mind, and QuickOffice is certainly one of them. It has the ability to work with Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents, and brings support for images and tables, alignments, calculations, as well as many other functions. With the “Connected File Manager”, QuickOffice Pro steps up to even allow you to access your Google Docs, MobileMe, and yes, Dropbox files, making it the ultimate document viewer and editor for the cloud.

Price: $7.99
Requires: Android 2.0 to 2.3.3
Market Link: Quickoffice Pro
Developer: Quickoffice
Similar to: Picsel Smart office, OpenOffice Document Reader

PicPlz

The instant image snapping and filter editing is all the rage nowadays, with Instragram on the iPhone capturing all the attention. PicPlz aims to fill the same shoes on Android, with several free filters, instant sharing to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and several other services. However, one feature that sets PicPlz apart is the option to link it with your Dropbox account, so that both original and edited images get uploaded to it. This avoids you losing your data by mistake or while switching devices.

Price: Free
Requires: Android 2.1 and up
Market Link: PicPlz
Developer: PicPlz
Similar to: Pixelpipe Upload & Post, Dropico Photo Sharing & Effects, Dropin
Read: Full Android.AppStorm Review

Document Scanner

Document Scanner does what its name suggests: scans paper documents by taking pictures with your camera. The scanned documents can then be cropped, aligned, saved as PDF and organized into folders. The winning feature is the option to upload all these scans to Dropbox, making it easy to keep all your receipts and important files in one central location.

Price: $3.98
Requires: Android 1.5 and up
Market Link: Document Scanner
Developer: Pwn With Your Phone
Similar to: Droid Scan Pro

My Recipes

For the creative foodies out there, My Recipes is a very interesting application. It won’t let you access recipes created by others, but instead acts as a database of your own creations. Add ingredients, modify proportions, attach an image, create grocery lists, everything is available, especially the option to backup and restore recipes from your Dropbox account to keep them handy.

Price: $0.99
Requires: Android 1.6 and up
Market Link: My Recipes
Developer: Brian Tellez
Similar to: Pocket Shopping

Todo.txt Touch

One of the simplest to-do applications on the Market, Todo.txt Touch avoids the complicated look and options, in order to use one todo.txt file that synchronizes across to your Dropbox account. However, the essentials are there, with a clean interface, adding tasks, and the ability to filter, search and sort tasks.

Price: $2.00
Requires: Android 1.5 and up
Market Link: Todo.txt Touch
Developer: Gina Trapani
Similar to: Taskos To Do List
Read: Full Android.AppStorm Review

Titanium Backup * Root

Titanium Backup has been the best friend of rooted Android users for a long time, thanks to its backing up and restoring function that saves applications, all their data, and user information to the SD card. It even lets you freeze all these applications and uninstall locked manufacturer software. Thanks to an integrated Dropbox option, Titanium Backup will back up all this information to your online account, making it easy to transfer data between devices and to keep everything at hand, should something go wrong with your device.

Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.0 and up
Market Link: Titanium Backup * Root
Developer: Titanium Track

Balances And Budgets Pro

Keeping track of expenses and income can be quite a hassle, but with Balances and Budgets, you might be tempted to do it. Clean interface, password lock for all the data, easy organization between different financial accounts, exporting in CSV format: all the important features are there, as well as automatic backup to Dropbox.

Price: $2.30
Requires: Android 2.1 and up
Market Link: Balances And Budgets Pro
Developer: Kaloer
Similar to: Budget Book

Kobo eBooks

Kobo eBooks stems from the same league of great eBook reading services as the Kindle or Nook. It supports the epub format, and synchronizes books, notes and bookmarks across devices, platforms and even Facebook. The differentiating feature from other readers is Kobo’s ability to access your Dropbox account to get your own books from it.

Price: Free
Requires: Android 1.6 and up
Market Link: Kobo eBooks
Developer: Kobo Inc.
Similar to: RepliGo Reader, FBSync For FBReader

1Password For Android

There are several password-keeping applications for Android that synchronize with Dropbox, however very few are cross-platform. 1Password brings a simplicity to the approach, with only the ability to view the accounts, passwords, and sensitive data cards you created on your computer. There’s also an integrated browser that allows you to open your favorite websites with an autologin feature using the save passwords.

Price: Free
Requires: Android 2.1 and up
Market Link: 1Password
Developer:
Similar to: Wallet, SafeWallet, Tiny Password

Titanium Media Sync

The official Dropbox client for Android lacks any synchronization feature, and this is what Titanium Media Sync aims to bring. It allows continuous sync from the device or SD card to the Dropbox folder, and that by monitoring any local files for changes or additions and sending them as soon as possible. There’s also a triggered one-shot sync from the server to the device.

Price: $2.99
Requires: Android 1.0 and up
Market Link: Titanium Media Sync
Developer: Titanium Track
Similar to: AutoFolderSync, Dropbox Sync For Tasker/Locale, Sync Folder With Dropbox, Downloader For Dropbox

How Do You Use Your Dropbox?

Personally, in the past year, I have shifted from reading about Dropbox and dismissing its usefulness, to a true Dropbox ninja. I rely heavily on the service for many aspects of my everyday and online life and I find that it makes multiple tasks easier and effortless. My preferred services to use with Dropbox are the above-mentioned Epistle, 1Password, PicPlz, and Document Scanner. However, I am pretty sure that I will keep discovering and enjoying new ways of integrating Dropbox with my HTC Desire Z. What about you? What Android utilities have you found that push the boundaries of what Dropbox can do?


  • Michael Campbell

    I use KeePass with Dropbox; much like 1Password mentioned.

    • http://www.ritaelkhoury.com/ Rita El Khoury

      Interesting, I had heard of it but never used it. Just took a look now, and it seems that Mac OSX is supported but requires Mono. Not sure I want to go there for something like a basic password application.

  • Batfan

    Or . . .

    Epistle, MyRecipes,Todo.txt Touch – All of these tasks can be completed with SpringPad.

    Document Scanner – The lite version of CamScanner does this for free.

    • http://www.ritaelkhoury.com/ Rita El Khoury

      Haha, that’s exactly what came to my mind while writing this. I’m personally a big fan of Springpad, I even reviewed it here not long ago, but there are people out there who aren’t, and who prefer to sync their data through Dropbox. This is for them.

  • Eric J

    Why not just use the built in text editor for android dropbox?

    • http://www.ritaelkhoury.com/ Rita El Khoury

      Good point. It works, but you gotta admit that the UI is terrible, and you have to keep looking for your notes folder, refreshing,… The separate application puts you instantly in that folder, neglecting other files, and most times offers a nicer design. Depends on personal preference, I guess.

      • Colin M

        You can put a shortcut to a specific Dropbox folder on your Android desktop. I just created a “Mobile” folder and added a shortcut on the desktop so when I press it I immediately see my list of notes files.

  • http://whatsthelatest.net zpltis

    Hi, thanks for this informative post. I agree with Michael Campbell, I use keePass to, both in my phone and computer. Simple the best!

    Rita, may i ask what would you prefer, todo.txt or checkmark todo list?

    • http://www.ritaelkhoury.com/ Rita El Khoury

      Personally, I have been using Wunderlist and the Google Calendar for my timed and non-timed tasks. It’s working better for me, and it syncs beautifully across the web, my Macbook, iPod Touch and Desire Z, all for the awesome price of free.

      However, from looking at the features of both todo.txt and checkmark, I think it depends on whether you want simplicity (todo.txt) or power (checkmark), and whether you want your tasks on Dropbox or on GCalendar. I’d personally go for Checkmark if I had to choose.

  • KH

    I use dropbox to keep my favorites sync’d across all my computer & my evo.

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      affordable auto insurance 2833 insurance life =OO

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  • CC

    Music anyone? Several will play single songs straight out of Drop Box. Cloud Around links to Drop Box and allows playing albums and creating playlists. PS – there is a free version.

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  • yBaras

    Consider using DropSync (or others like it- there are a few).
    Dropbox for Android is already a useful tool, but DropSync allows you to select a folder on your SD card and automatically have that folder synchronized to your Dropbox account whenever a change is made to it on your droid.

  • Sampath

    how to edit my excell files in dropbox?

  • Karthik

    You missed out one of the important drop box tool ‘truBackup’ for Android Mobile Phones. The best thing I like about this app is I can store data in all of my android devices to one backup account. A must have app for people who’ve multiple android devices and does not want to store their files in different places. You can download it here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfl.tbp

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