Dropbox users are in for some positive changes with the synchronization service soon. The first one deals with a feature I absolutely love, and that’s the file history. I like to view the history of file changes over time, especially if I need to revert back to a previous version. It also comes in handy when accidentally deleting a file from the Dropbox. Since the file exists in your history, you can restore it.
Right now, Dropbox saves your file history forever. That must be taking up more space than needed so starting on August 1, Dropbox will only be retaining a 30 day file history by default for free accounts. Folks that want or need unlimited file history can still have it, but it requires a paid account.
The other news the Dropbox folks told me about is that an iPhone client is coming soon in the “near future.” Using it, you’ll be able to access all of the files and folders in your Dropbox, save them to your handset and sync photos over-the-air from your iPhone to the cloud. That’s good news and puts Dropbox nearer to SugarSync. It offers a similar service to Dropbox and has had a useful iPhone client out for some time now. SugarSync already has a client supporting Windows Mobile and BlackBerry devices, so I hope that Dropbox follows suit.
While all of those changes are in the works, there’s one more that sounds interesting. Dropbox calls it “LAN sync” and it ought to come in handy for those with multiple machines. Today if you have Dropbox on different computers, they all sync files up to the Dropbox servers and then back down to the machines. With “LAN sync”, Dropbox will detect when your computers are on the same local network. In that case, it synchronizes files directly between the devices — no Dropbox server gets involved. That’s a far quicker and easier way to move files.