Web

Dropbox confirms the end of public folders, directs you to its quick-link feature

no more public dropbox foldersDropbox recently found itself competing with a new challenger in the just-launched Google Drive, but that hasn’t stopped the file sharing and hosting service from building. Today the cloud hosting site issued a couple of updates for both mobile and Web.

The changes to the Web service will probably grab the most attention. According to a forum post, Dropbox is telling its developers that public folders will be making an exit.

“We wanted to let our developers know about an upcoming change to the Public folder for all user accounts. In April, we launched the ability to share any file or folder in your Dropbox with a simple link. This new sharing mechanism is a more generalized, scalable way to support many of the same use cases as the Public folder. After July 31, we will no longer create Public folders in any new Dropbox accounts. If your app depends on the Public folders, we recommend switching to the /shares API call. Public folders in existing accounts, however, will continue to function as before.”

Dropbox officially addressed the forthcoming updates to its public sharing system, confirming public folders will be phased out and referring users to the quick-link sharing feature it added recently. 

So as of August, existing public folders will be safe but newly created ones are out. You’ll be steered toward using Dropbox’s aforementioned link-sharing feature. It adds a step on both ends of the folder sharing process – you hit the “get link” prompt, do with it what you will, and then those that you’re sending it to will be instructed to download the content. It means the person you’re linking isn’t actually being directly linked to your content, and it images and other media could be more difficult to share (you can easily and quickly preview what’s in these folders, but you can’t actually directly access it). Just to be clear, users can directly access the information shared through Dropbox links, as Dropbox provides the ability to download this content or add it to your Dropbox folder.

Scrolling through the developers forum, you’ll quickly gather that the reaction has been largely negative. Power users who have virtually turned Dropbox into a server on their own system are naturally frustrated by the choice, but the casual or light Dropbox file and folder sharers out there likely won’t be very affected by the change. Dropbox is doing this because its a more scalable solution on its end — which is something worth considering, given that it has 50+ million users. 

On the mobile side of things, the latest iteration of the Dropbox iOS app has added the ability for automatic photo and video uploads from your camera roll over Wi-Fi and cellular – and if you give Dropbox permission to auto-log your camera roll, you’ll be rewarded with 3GB of extra storage. Essentially, the more you use Dropbox for mobile media backup, the more space it’s willing to give you.

Computing

Windows handwriting-recognition tool may pose security risk

A Windows file that is designed to help improve the platform's ability to translate your handwritten notes into readable text may be a security concern. One researcher found it contained passwords and email contents.
Home Theater

Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know

Google's Chromecast plugs into your TV's HDMI port, allowing you to stream content from your tablet, laptop, or smartphone directly to your TV. Here's what you need to know about all iterations, including the 4K-ready Chromecast Ultra.
Computing

Need to convert video in a flash? These free apps and services will do the job

Devices that are capable of playing video can be a picky bunch to say the least. Fortunately, the best free video converters can render format issues a thing of the past. Here are our current favorites.
Mobile

The big four U.S. carriers are joining forces to get rid of app passwords

The big four carriers in the U.S. announced a new initiative called Project Verify, designed to do away with needing new passwords for each individual app. The new service isn't available to consumers just yet.
Web

10 viral video celebrities from the past and where they are now

Ever wonder what happened to William Hung after his less-than-stellar American Idol audition? We take a look at 10 of the most popular viral video celebrities and see what they are up to today.
Movies & TV

Tired of Netflix? Here's where to find free movies online, legally

We've spent countless hours digging around the web to find the best sites for streaming free movies online. Not only are all of these sites completely free to use, they're also completely legal and trustworthy.
Smart Home

Tannenbaum in a box? You can order a real, 7-foot-tall Christmas tree from Amazon

If you have fond memories of going out with your family and searching for the perfect Christmas tree, well, Amazon wants to create its own holiday tradition, This year, you'll be able to order a real, seven-foot tree from Amazon.
Computing

Will Chrome remain our favorite web browser with arrival of newest version?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Social Media

Facebook expands fact-checking net to try to catch doctored photos and videos

Facebook is now fact-checking images and video along with articles, using third-party organizations. New A.I. helps flag potential fakes for human review, but user flags and comments still help recognize what content might not be accurate.
Emerging Tech

Stay up-to-date on Hurricane Florence’s path with these apps and websites

Looking to track Hurricane Florence's path towards the U.S. coast? This list of the best hurricane apps and websites with help you stay ahead of this or any future storm, and stay safe.
Computing

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.
Mobile

From true crime to comedy, here's our list of the best podcasts around

When you aren’t in the music mood, podcasts can be your ear candy. Whether you love to stay up-to-date on the latest news or want to know what’s happening in sports, you’ll find something on our must-listen-to podcast roundup.
Social Media

How to run a free background check

There are plenty of legitimate reasons for carrying out a background check, and not all of them are creepy. Here are several methods that allow you to run a thorough background check on someone online, whether you need to vet a potential…
Computing

Is your Wi-Fi screwing up again? Here's our list of the best wireless routers

Check out the best wireless routers for a variety of homes and apartments. We've collected the top routers for wireless management, 4K streaming, professional gaming, Wi-fi on a budget, and much more. Take a look at our top pick, then check…