Access the Cloud with Dropbox for Android

April 18, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Cloud computing is an ever-popular productivity option, as more and more companies offer for free or a small fee some of their fast, vast storage for us to save our most treasured photos, documents and other vital data.

One of the great benefits of cloud storage is that you can save your data from your PC or Mac and then pick it up again on another computer, or even a mobile device.

The Android mobile platform has a Dropbox app, a great tool for sharing and accessing data from your Android phone or tablet.

Access the cloud with Dropbox for Android

Install the Dropbox App for Android

To get your hands on the Dropbox app for Android, head to the Market where you should find it. Dropbox is available for all Android models, and also supports App2SD for installing to and accessing the additional SD card storage on your device.

Once you have found the Dropbox app in the Android Market, follow the usual routine for installing it and in a few moments time you should be presented with the option to sign in or create a new Dropbox account.

Select I’m already a Dropbox user to proceed with using the app and login with your registered Dropbox email and password, or use I’m new to Dropbox to add your name, email address and password to register. You can also use the Watch a video about Dropbox option to find out more about the system, although you might wish to leave this until you have a wireless connection.

Dropbox is a great repository for documents and photos, which means that your Android phone network standard data plan should be suitable as a means of viewing and sharing data, but this connection shouldn’t be used for videos or music unless you are on a fast mobile Internet network with a plan that permits this sort of use for an affordable price!

Sharing Data Between Your Computer and Android Phone with Dropbox

To take advantage of Dropbox on your Android phone you will need to be able to access another device – typically a computer, although another mobile phone is acceptable – and install a Dropbox client on this.

We’ll assume that you have already installed Dropbox on your Windows PC or Mac before deciding to use it on your Android phone, and you have already used it, signed in and put a couple of documents or photos in your Dropbox account.

To access the data that you have synced to Dropbox on your Android, open the app. You should see all files and folders that you synced to the cloud storage service listed, and either tap a document to open it or tap a folder to view its contents. Use your Android back button to go back up a level in the directory structure.

In order to view documents you will need a suitable viewer – for instance PDFs can only be viewed if you have Adobe Reader installed – and they can be downloaded by tapping and selecting Download!

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