Paper From Dropbox Challenges Collaboration Giants

in Cloud Computing, Productivity

dropbox paperDropbox has just dropped a small atomic device into the world of online collaboration with the introduction of its Paper service.  At the moment, Paper, born again out of the purchase of Hackpad,  is in beta and available by invite only and is available only as a web-based service although the company says a mobile app will be coming shortly.

Obviously it is early days to judge whether or not Paper can take on the likes of Google Docs, etc. but the current beta shows a hell of a lot of promise.

Multiple Users

Being a collaborative tool, Paper can enable multiple individuals to work on one document at the same time. Identification is through the use of multi-coloured cursors and the users name in the side bar.  In its present format, Paper is never going to be a fully fledged word processor having only three fonts and three type sizes.

You add content, other than  typed in verbiage, by clicking on a small blue plus icon on the left which gives you the choice of adding an image,  a file from Dropbox, tables, check boxes,  lists and bullet points and code.

Rich Content

Adding rich content is where Paper really scores.  Want to share aYouTube 0r Vimeo  video – just paste in the URL and it appears in the document.  Fancy sharing a tune from Soundhound or Spotify, again just drop in the URL and it’s ready to play.

Adding collaborators is as simple as adding an email address.  You keep track of  documents you create in Paper via a quick shortcut to save items that you want to access easily into a favorites sidebar, and when you create a new document, you’ll be prompted to put it in a folder. As this is primarily a collaboration tool, new folders and documents will be shared with your work team by default, though you can also create private ones for files that you want to keep to yourself.

Early Verdict

Paper is a slick and polished collaboration tool that holds a phenomenal amount of promise.  Why would people use this rather than Google Docs? Well, not everybody loves Google and this plugs the gap for those who would rather use another service.

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