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Dropbox Irks Mac Users With Annoying Dock Icon, Offers Clueless Support

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Dropbox now opens a new file browser and an associated Dock icon every time it starts, even if you don’t want it to. If you’re not familiar with Macs, the Dock is the line of applications on the bottom of the screen (or the side, if you’ve moved it in the settings) and serves the same function as the Windows Taskbar. If my computer restarts or if Dropbox restarts, the new Dropbox window that I don’t want pops up in the Dock. This isn’t a huge deal, as I can quit Dropbox’s new file browser and get rid of that Dock icon each time my computer starts up. I’m not going to stop using Dropbox — I’ve been paying the company $138 a year for 2TB of storage and for 12 months’ worth of file history, which saves all deleted files and revisions to files. (It’s going up to $158 next time I get billed, in February.) It’s worth it to me because Dropbox still works great, while the alternatives have always been unreliable or disappointing in other ways when I’ve tried them. I’ll get into that more later in this article.

But the Dock icon and window is a major change in how Dropbox presents itself to users. Dropbox has always been the kind of application that is there when you need it and gets out of the way when you don’t. Dropbox’s syncing and file-sharing features are integrated with the Finder (the Mac file manager), and there’s a little icon in the Mac’s Menu Bar at the top of the screen for when you need to change a setting. But now, Dropbox wants to be front and center at all times. The company built its own file browser to replace what’s already available in the Mac Finder, and it opens that new file manager every time Dropbox starts. We wrote about it last week when Dropbox started rolling it out to more users. I’ve had it for more than a month since I somehow ended up in Dropbox’s Early Access program. Ars’ Jon Brodkin, the author of the article, also discovered that “there are numerous Dropbox support employees who apparently have never used their company’s Mac application and do not understand how it works.” Specifically, the employees Brodkin talked to didn’t know “that it’s possible for Mac applications to run without a Dock icon even though that’s exactly how Dropbox worked for a decade… And they’ve been giving bad advice to users who want to change back to the old way of doing things.”


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