Dropbox has a new feature it hopes will make getting work done from within its cloud storage product even easier. Called Extensions, these third-party software plug-ins will let you perform basic tasks you’d normally need to launch a separate app or in-browser window for all within Dropbox on the web.
Dropbox’s first suite of Extensions — with partners like Adobe, DocuSign, and Vimeo — will let you get the required digital signatures on a PDF and perform some light photo editing and annotating of videos, all without leaving Dropbox and in a workflow that immediately saves new files to the cloud. Extensions launches for all users, including standard non-business users of Dropbox, on November 27th.
The goal here is to cut down on how many apps a user has to open and use to get a basic task done, like getting a signature on a PDF that would normally require you use something like DocuSign. Increasingly, the value Dropbox tries to offer its business customers is not just cloud storage, but also the kind of productivity gains you might get from traditional enterprise products. The Extensions feature can be found by using an “open with” drop-down menu, just like you’d find on macOS or Windows.
Dropbox has, in the past, tried to make its own custom software products successful cornerstones of productivity, like the now-shutdown email app Mailbox and photo app Carousel or the currently active Google Docs-style writing and editing tool Paper.
Now, instead of developing more of these products itself, Dropbox is partnering with other companies — as it has with big firms like Google and Microsoft — to bring apps it knows business users rely on every day into the Dropbox ecosystem. Effectively, Dropbox wants to become a nexus for all sorts of different apps and services that all revolve around file management. And features like Extensions go a long way in helping the company get there.