The end is near! Not The End, but just the end of MobileMe. On July 1, MobileMe will be dead, and with it a number of features that you may depend on. One of the most practical is the iDisk, which I have long used to store files, and especially to share files with clients. When MobileMe’s demise was announced, however, I discovered just how easy it is to do the same thing with Dropbox.
If you haven’t used Dropbox, it’s a relatively invisible method of syncing files across computers and other devices (many iOS apps support Dropbox), but you can also use it to share files with others. There are two ways to do this. The first is to set up a shared folder, then invite another user. The second is to right-click on a file, then choose Dropbox > Get Link. You can then send this link to anyone so they can download the file. They don’t get the file from your computer, but rather from the Dropbox servers.
You can also use Dropbox for backups. Since the Dropbox servers save old versions of files, you can restore files from their web site.
There are some good and bad things about Dropbox’s plans and pricing. You can get a free account with 2 GB storage, but that’s not a lot, compared to Apple’s 20 GB iDisk. However, for many people, this may be more than enough to sync files and share the occasional file. The first paid price point is, unfortunately, 50 GB, which is much more than most users need; and it’s $100 a year. I’d long hoped that Dropbox would introduce a smaller capacity and lower price point: 25 GB for $50, for example.
In any case, if you don’t have a Dropbox account, get a free one now. Those 2 GB will be very useful, and can replace part of your iDisk. If you need more storage, the $100 may be a lot, but 50 GB will probably meet your needs.