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Carousel - by Dropbox

Page history last edited by Suzanna 6 years, 4 months ago

Carousel - by Dropbox Review

by Suzanna Brooks

Description

This is the gallery from Dropbox for photos and videos. Carousel is self-described as "a gallery app that's the faster, prettier, all-around-better way to view the photos and videos you keep in Dropbox." It is designed to help you keep track of your photos, and it lets you view all the photos and videos from your phone and Dropbox in one place, organizes them automatically, and backs them up to Dropbox. When you use the auto back-up feature, Carousel can remove the photos and videos from your local storage, to help keep you from running out of space on your phone or tablet.

 

Access

Carousel is free, but it requires that you have a Dropbox account, which is also free, or is available with upgrades at varying prices. The actual site for Carousel is here, and it is also available as a free app through iTunes and Google Play. You can access Carousel through these smartphone apps, or through the website, for desktop. 

 

Sample Usage

These are the screenshots I took which I found to be somewhat aesthetically interesting. A lot more could be done with this concept...

   

  

 

Tips, tricks, and tutorials

- The default organization scheme for Carousel is by date. You will see your images in order from newest to oldest.

- When viewing the images by date on the smartphone app, there is a Timeline at the bottom of the screen, that you can drag back and forth to quickly access images from different dates. You can also scroll up and down for slower searching. This same timeline is available in the desktop mode, but it is on the right, next to the scroll bar, and is hidden until you mouse over it.

- The majority of images taken or saved to your phone will automatically upload to Carousel. However, anything that gets saved to the Download folder, may not get automatically uploaded. Double check where your images are going--and that they are being uploaded--before you delete any of them!

- You can create albums via Carousel in either desktop or app mode, to organize your images differently.

- You can easily drag and drop images from your desktop onto Carousel when you are signed in on your computer.

- Carousel allows you to easily share your images or albums via Twitter, Facebook, or link sharing. Once you have shared with someone, it will appear in a section called "Sharing." Those who have access to your shared files can comment directly in Carousel.

- You can also hide images from Carousel by selecting them and choosing "Hide." This option is only available in the mobile app, but once an image is hidden there, it will also be hidden in the desktop site. You can unhide, or restore, hidden images by tapping your profile image, choosing “Hidden Photos & Videos,” and selecting "Restore."

 

Further tips from Carousel: Frequently Asked Questions

 

What the Tool Does Well

Carousel provides simple organization, backup, and sharing for all of your Dropbox and mobile images. The interface is clean and easy to navigate, and the transition between mobile and desktop is fairly smooth. Both versions work quickly and allow easy transfer for images and video between your smartphone and your desktop without the need for cables or Bluetooth. The sharing and commenting features work for anyone you choose, whether they have Dropbox or not.

 

What it Does Poorly

Some of the options that are available for mobile, such as hiding images, are not available for desktop. Some images and videos that are saved to your smartphone do not get automatically uploaded to Carousel or Dropbox. Some users complain that the app is unacceptably slow when uploading large amounts of photos at once. Others have said the app is very slow at accessing large numbers of photos across a longer span of years. I have not been able to test these issues. Once you add images to Carousel and ALSO remove it from your phone, there is no option in Carousel to download it back to your phone directly. You can send an image to another app, for editing or sharing, but downloading from the Carousel mobile app is not possible.

 

What happens when you...

This type of tool may not be as capable of being manipulated by the user as some others. One thing that I tried was to take a screenshot of the app, wait until the screenshot uploaded, and then take a screenshot of that, etc., until I had an entertaining spiral of screenshots within screenshots. You can also put together a selection of images in an album, and screenshot those images to create a quick thumbnail sheet. In this way, Carousel can be used for creating, and not just containing.

 

Additional Resources

Carousel's Frequently Asked Questions is the best source of further information.

 

Alternatively, you could just go on using the regular Dropbox app and not bother with Carousel. A lot of other, similar apps cost quite a bit, with monthly subscription fees. PictureLife's current lowest cost is 25GB of storage space for $5 a month or $50 a year. There is also Yahoo's Flickr, which is free but is still built around Flickr’s foundation as primarily being a social networking service. And then there are the cloud storage apps that are built for all files, not just images, such as Google Drive and iCloud.

 

 

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