Saying goodbye to Dropbox

Once a promising service, Dropbox is now expansive and lags behind some of its competitors. I’ll get rid of it very soon.

There it is. I’ll remove Dropbox from my Mac in the next few days. Why?

First, Dropbox pricing is too steep – and thus, expansive. I have something like 120 Go of files, and the only option provided by Dropbox is… 1 To. At 9,99€/month. Which is a kind of an all-or-nothing. With iCloud, pricing is more progressive as I can go with the 200 Go option at 2,99€/month, and possibly upgrade to the 1 To option when I’ll need it (I started with the free 5 Go, then went to the 50 Go/0,99€ and used it for months). Because of that, today I only pay 30% of the price I would’ve pay with Dropbox for the exact same thing (remember, I don’t need 1 To, only 120 Go). Huge deal breaker here.

Second, Dropbox installs things on your Mac you didn’t authorize. Yes. That’s exactly what they do. And this, my friend, is not only a bad, very bad thing, it’s also a huge security/stability threat toward my computer. Because a buggy Dropbox could hamper my Mac – and how I’ll know it comes from Dropbox if it installs things on my back?

The price was a deal breaker. This is purely inacceptable.

I don’t own a Mac (or a computer) to brag. I own a Mac to work. You know, the thing you do to get money and pay your stuff, like food, and electricity and all. And I hate, seriously, I hate that a company overruns what I granted it to do with my stuff. Because I have to be sure my Mac is up and running almost every single day. I can’t afford to take a risk I don’t know about because, hum, Dropbox wants to improve sync to offer a better product compared to iCloud (and obviously sells more subscription). But if Dropbox had a better pricing scheme, maybe they would sell more subscriptions. Just an idea.

And don’t get me wrong: yes, Sierra blocked the Dropbox hack. But how can I be sure Dropbox won’t do the same filthy trick again? When I install something on my computer, I trust the editor of this thing to do what I’ve paid for, the way it was advertised. The problem is once the trust is damaged, it’s too late. Sorry Dropbox, it’s too late.

Third, it seems that in addition to being pricey and install things on your back, Dropbox negatively impacts performance. As I only use it as some sort of “buffer”, I could definitely only live with the web version.

Fourth (and finally), alternatives. iCloud Drive is cheaper, and with iOS 10 and macOS Sierra I have the feeling it had hugely improved – especially on the reliability side. And after months of using it, I like its simplicity, its integration with both iOS and macOS, and its overall elegance. That’s now a very well done product from Apple.

Only positive thing I’ll say about Dropbox is it’s reliability on iOS, especially to upload large files from the Share sheet. But that’s all. Because even on iOS their product is, well, perfectible. For instance, you can’t open a file stored on Dropbox through the Document picker. Sure, a lot of apps have built-in Dropbox support (as it was the only cool kid in town for quite a long time), but not all apps do.

In other words, in addition to be less pricey, iCloud Drive is also more universal – and don’t stab you in the back by invading your Mac, of course. That’s in fact a fifth reason to ditch Dropbox.

I remember a time when Dropbox was a cool product. A folder on your Mac that automagically sync your files everywhere needed. I have the feeling this time is over. It’s like with Evernote: a good idea, that became clunky with overpriced stuff no one really use.

Is Dropbox another fading unicorn? After Evernote massive layoffs and Twitter difficulties to sell itself (which means that no potential buyer think Twitter can create enough value), Dropbox is another “ex-cool” company to experience business issues. And business issues have only two sources: bad luck, or bad choices. Maybe Dropbox should have sell itself to Apple when Steve Jobs wanted to buy it. Just another idea.

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