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Dropbox’s Paper, like Google Docs is now available to everyone and on mobile also

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Dropbox’s Paper, like Google Docs is now available to everyone and on mobile also. In October Dropbox unveiled Paper, a solution it had been working on that enables teams to collaborate on different projects.

Dropbox’s Paper Is Now Open To Everyone And Available On Mobile. The collaboration tool is now available for anyone to use, and has new iOS and Android apps. Paper, Dropbox’s answer to Google Docs, now has apps for iOS and Android. The service is now in open beta, too, so give it a shot.

In October Dropbox unveiled Paper, a solution it had been working on that enables teams to collaborate on different projects.

It’s been almost a year since Dropbox formally introduced Paper

It’s been almost a year since Dropbox formally introduced Paper, its vision for a collaborative workplace regardless of whether you’re a project manager, coder, designer or any other kind of employee. It’s been in closed beta since then, and we haven’t heard much of how the tool has progressed, but today that’s changing. Dropbox is announcing that the Paper beta is now open to anyone, and the company is also launching dedicated Paper apps for iOS and Android.

Both the apps and a variety of new features Dropbox added to Paper come at the request of users; the company says it has been listening very carefully to feedback throughout the beta process and has implemented the top requests. For the web version of Paper, that includes enhanced table features, improve photo galleries and new notifications that are rolled into the Dropbox desktop app.

You can make the full width of your document

The changes to tables are pretty straightforward. You can now make them the full width of your document or constrain them to a smaller space if you don’t want them to cover the entire screen. You can also resize the width of your columns, and Dropbox made it easier to add and delete cells. I hesitate to truly call these “new” features; they’re more like table stakes for any kind of spreadsheet, even a basic tool like Paper’s tables.

It’s a lot easier to drag and drop images

Paper’s improved image galleries are similarly basic. It’s a lot easier to drag and drop images around to rearrange and resize them into a gallery — it’s kind of like the way Tumblr handles posts with multiple images. What’s more notable is that you can now comment on a single image at a time rather than just leaving a comment for the entire group. Again, a pretty simple feature that’s necessary for Paper to truly make a mark as a collaboration tool, but it’s good to see it in place as the open beta is launched.

Paper’s notification system has been revamped

The last new feature for the web is a bit of a bigger deal, as Paper’s notification system has been revamped. You have always been able to “@” message peope in your organization who are using Dropbox and Paper, and now a new notification center collects all comments made on documents you’ve started. It’ll also keep track of any time someone pings you with an @ mention or replies to comments you’ve left in other documents. These notifications are visible both in Paper itself as well as in the Dropbox desktop app that sits in your toolbar, so even if you’re not in Paper, you can see who’s pinging you.

Paper’s first apps for iOS and Android

Beyond the desktop are Paper’s first apps for iOS and Android — Dropbox says that these were the number one most requested feature from beta testers. Rather than try and throw ever Paper feature into the app, though, Dropbox kept things a bit more focused here. The app brings the same notifications from your desktop to the phone, giving you a glanceable view of what people are doing in the documents that you’ve created or are otherwise working on. Naturally, you’ll get push notifications as well. I don’t know that I’d want to have those turned on, but Dropbox says having access to this info on the go was a requested feature from users.

You can work on documents when you don’t have a connection

You can also respond to comment threads from a dedicated tab within the app, and there are also some basic document editing features baked in. You won’t be able to embed the many different types of content that Paper supports, but you’ll be able to make quick changes to text from your phone and also drop in images from your camera roll. The app is also smart enough to save any document you’ve marked as a favorite to the app by default, so you can work on them when you don’t have a connection.

All of these changes and the apps roll out today — and with the open beta, Dropbox will truly have a chance to see how many people are interested in its latest collaboration tool. It’s a bit of a change for the company, which has typically focused on first keeping files in sync. Now, Dropbox often says its mission has evolved into “keeping teams in sync,” and it looks at Paper as a way to do that.

However, Dropbox has killed off a few other initiatives that tried to move the company beyond straight file syncing: the Mailbox email app and Carousel photo-syncing app. I asked Dropbox project manager Kavitha Radhakrishnan if users should have any concern about their Paper docs going away in a few years if the company shutters its latest project, and she said user’s shouldn’t be worried because of Paper’s explicit link to that goal of keeping teams in sync.

Dropbox’s new logo for Paper.“From a strategy perspective, Paper’s right at the center [of Dropbox],” Radhakrishnan said. “We’re looking at Paper as being a core part of the Dropbox experience, and our momentum over the last year should be a pretty strong signal about how seriously we’re taking this.” She also told me that users have created 1 million Paper documents so far. In a vacuum, that number isn’t terribly meaningful, but given the small scale of the closed beta, Dropbox certainly hopes that number will skyrocket going forward.

As to how Dropbox will be successful with Paper when there are lots of options like Microsoft Office and Google Docs that do many of the same things, Radhakrishnan says Paper’s flexibility makes it the kind of tool that makes it well-suited to being used across an organization. “We’ve seen products that do creation, organization and collaboration really well, but Paper fits across all three of those pillars,” she said. “Paper’s uniquely positioned in that it’s not just one tool that does one part of the workflow well. It brings entire teams together.” Whether a one-stop shop for creation, organization and collaboration makes more sense than distinct, focused tools remains to be seen — but with the beta now open to everyone, Dropbox should find out whether Paper has a future very soon. / Read more at: https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/03/dropbox-paper-open-beta-ios-android-apps/

 By Nathan Ingraham@nateingraham

Nathan is a senior editor at Engadget and was formerly an editor at The Verge. A semi-recent San Francisco resident by way of Boston, Nathan covers Google, gaming, apps and services (especially music), weird internet culture and much more. He’ll review just about any odd piece of hardware that comes his way. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys the awesome food SF has to offer and loves taking photos around northern California.

How to get start with Dropbox Paper

Dropbox is entering the world of online document collaboration. Here are some tips and tricks to help you get started with Paper.

 Cloud storage veteran Dropbox officially entered the online document collaboration space with its new service, Paper, which was announced last October. Today, Dropbox opened the beta up to the public, sans waitlist, and released beta versions of Paper for Android and iOS.

Paper is pitted against some very well-known and widely adopted services, such as Google Docs, Microsoft Office and OneNote, Evernote and Quip. It not only focuses heavily on the ease of creation of rich text documents, but also on team collaboration.

Keeping in mind that this is very much still a beta, here are some tips to get you started with Paper.

Embed all the things

Paper not only supports rich text, but rich media embedding. Paste a link to a YouTube video, SoundCloud audio file, GIF, picture or any other media and Paper will automatically embed the media into the document. After the media has embedded itself, you can choose to leave or delete the URL; other collaborators will also be able to comment on the media.

Drag and drop galleries

If you’re using Paper from the web client at paper.dropbox.com, you can easily drag and drop any photos that you want to add to a document from your desktop. To rearrange those pictures, you can drag and drop them within the document and they will automatically resize and arrange themselves in a collage-style layout.

The easiest table creation you’ve ever used

To create a table, hover your cursor over a new line and click the plus sign. Immediately, a four-cell (two-by-two) table will appear.

To insert a new row or column, click anywhere inside the table and look for one of the grey dots near one of the intersects of the cells. To delete an entire row or column, click inside the table to reveal the borders. Click one of the border cells to select all cells in that row or column. Clicking the border cell in the upper left corner will select all cells in the table. Once selected, pressing Delete will remove all content from the cells. Pressing it once more will delete the rows, columns or the entire table.

Shortcuts

Getting to know the shortcuts will help you add elements to your Paper documents faster, and if you’re familiar with Markdown at all, the shortcuts will feel very natural. On a new line:

Typing # and adding a space will create an H1 header. Likewise, ## will insert an H2 header and ### will create an H3 header.
A hyphen followed by a space will start an unordered list.
A number and a period followed by a space will start an ordered list.
Typing open and close bracket without a space between them starts a checklist.
Entering three hyphens creates a divider.

Other in-line shortcuts you may find helpful are:
Wrapping text in two sets of three back ticks (“`) will create a code snippet.
Adding one asterisk or one underscore to either side of a word, sentence or paragraph will italicize it. Highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+I on Windows and Linux or Command+I on Mac also works.
Adding two asterisks or two underscores to either side of a word, sentence or paragraph will make it bold. Highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+B on Windows and Linux or Command+B on Mac also works.
Highlighting text and pressing Ctrl+K on Windows and Linux or Command+K on Mac will allow you to quickly hyperlink that text.
Typing a colon followed by a space will open an emoji search. Typing will narrow the results and you can click or use your arrow keys and return or enter to select and insert an emoji.
Other text editor commands should work within Paper, as well. To discover other hotkeys, highlight text or click the plus sign on a new line and hover your cursor over any of the buttons.

Tag other collaborators

You can mention other collaborators within the body of a document or within comments. Type the at symbol (@) and start typing their name or email address. Paper will narrow the results based on other collaborators added to the document and contacts from your connected Google account. Selecting a contact will send a notification to them.

Get notifications everywhere

The latest update to the Paper beta brings notifications to the web, mobile and desktop. While there is no Paper app for desktop, the notifications should push through the Dropbox desktop applications.

To ensure notifications are pushed to your desktop as they happen, go to paper.dropbox.com and click the bell icon in the upper right corner. Click the settings cog and the dropdown menu beside Send desktop notifications. Select Immediately and click Save.

Find document history

If you’ve made a change to a document and are past the point of Ctrl+Z-ing your way back to safety, you’re not entirely out of luck. You can check the document version history using the web app. Open the document at paper.dropbox.com, click the overflow menu (the button with three dots) in the top right corner and click View history.

Within that window, you should see all the recent changes that have been made to that document and who made the changes, if it’s a collaborative effort.

Word count

Likewise, you can check your word, character and emoji count from the web view. Click the overflow menu button in the upper right corner and select Word count. This will show you the total number or words, characters and emojis used in the current document. From this window, you can also view comment and the document’s version history.

Quickly jump to any section

If you use headers in your document, a series of grey and blue lines of various lengths rest at the leftmost part of the window in the web app. The longest lines are for H1 headers, the medium length lines are for H2 headers and the short lines represent H3 headers. The blue line is your current position in the document.

Dragging your cursor over these lines will reveal the different sections of the document and clicking on one will quickly move you to that section.

Secure your documents with Touch ID

From the new iOS app, you can protect your documents using the Touch ID sensor. To enable the fingerprint security, open the iOS application, navigate to Settings and click the toggle button to the right of Touch ID.

The problem is, unlike with Evernote’s fingerprint security, the prompt for Touch ID does not appear any time you back out of the application and reopen it. In order to lock the app, you must manually close Paper using the task switcher. / Read more at: http://www.cnet.com/how-to/10-tips-for-getting-started-with-dropbox-paper/

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