There are a couple of changes coming to the Dropbox cloud storage service, one minor and one more significant.
First, the company is rebranding the paid Dropbox Pro tier as Dropbox Plus. No other changes are being made, as Dropbox repeats to a hilarious degree in its FAQ. The paid tier still costs either $9.99 per month or $99 per year and offers 1 TB of storage space. Nothing else has changed, it’s just called Dropbox Plus now.
Second, Dropbox is dropping its Public folder feature for Dropbox Basic (free) accounts. Dropbox has been threatening to do this since 2012 (see “Dropbox Public Folder Leaves and Returns,” 14 July 2012), and accounts created after 4 October 2012 weren’t given a Public folder at all. On 15 March 2017, Dropbox will convert all Public folders on free accounts to private folders, breaking existing links. Dropbox now recommends using a shared folder or shared link for sharing files with others. Dropbox Plus and Dropbox Business users can continue to use the Public folder until 1 September 2017.
Similarly, Dropbox removed the capability to render HTML files stored in Public folders from Dropbox Basic accounts last year (see “Dropbox to Discontinue HTML Rendering, Breaking Hosted Sites,” 7 September 2016). That capability will also disappear for Dropbox Plus and Dropbox Business users on 1 September 2017. Many users took advantage of this feature for free Web site hosting, and Dropbox apparently didn’t like that.
It may seem as though Dropbox is just removing features and not adding new ones, but that’s not entirely the case — the company added a few new things last year, as “Take Control of Dropbox” author Joe Kissell outlined in “Catch Up with the Latest Dropbox Features” (3 March 2016). Although it’s annoying to lose the Public folder and its HTML rendering capability, Dropbox remains useful because it’s integrated so well into the Mac and iOS experience, and it just works.