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How Much Does Dropbox like App Development Costs?

By Shrikant Srivastava
November 25, 2019 6. min read
Last update on: May 9, 2020

“Do you have a pen drive, Hard Disk, or CD – I have to copy these important files to my device?”

There was a time when transferring data from one device to another was a hassle. People used to spend hefty amount on buying, managing, and exchanging these external memory spaces to share data with each other. 

But then cloud storage platforms took over the market. 

These platforms offered a convenient way to store a heap of data at the same place; replacing external memory spaces. They made it easier to share and access all of the data anytime and anywhere – and that too in an affordable manner.

The outcome of which is that the cloud storage market is expected to rise from $21.17B in 2015 to $97.41B by the year 2022.

cloud storage market size forecast

Now, considering these numbers, if you are thinking of investing in cloud storage app development, this article will be a good read for you. 

Here, we will talk about Dropbox – one of the popular names in the cloud storage market, take an account of its features and tech stack, and eventually, determine the Dropbox-like app development cost. Something which will simplify your path to step into the market and make higher profits.

But, but, but…before we focus entirely on Dropbox, it is good to know about other top players in the market too. So, let’s have a look of which all brands are ruling the Cloud storage market.

top players in cloud storage market

With this covered, let’s have a brief introduction to Dropbox. And then, look into how to build a Dropbox like app from technical perspective.

A Basic Information about Dropbox

Founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, Dropbox is a file hosting service that provides ample of options to audience, including cloud storage, personal cloud, file synchronization, and client software.

The company has received the Crunchie Award for the Best Internet Application in 2010, Editor’s Choice Award for Software by MacWorld in 2009, and more. It has built a reputation of being one of the Y Combinator’s most successful investments to date, with a valuation of around USD 12B and acquisition of 25 firms including HelloSign, CloudOn, Predictive Edge, and Droptalk.

Dropbox is available both in the form of a website interface and Android and iOS mobile applications and provides users with a free space of 2GB on cloud. However, it has also come up with a new feature called Dropbox Plus, which extends this cloud storage to 2TB alongside functionalities like automatic backup of camera rolls and offline access for only $9.99/month. 

What’s more, the application works in an easier, simplified, and effective manner. Still doubtful about how cloud storage app like Dropbox work? See this video now.

In the News:

1. Dropbox’s new feature, Dropbox lets you send file to someone

Dropbox rolled out a new feature called Dropbox Transfer. This feature, just like file-sharing service WeTransfer, aids you to share your files without giving a complete access to all the personal copies. 

Meaning, when you compile your files to transfer, you get a link to the landing page that you can share with others and they can directly download from that page of save to their dropbox account. With this feature, you can send around 100MB of files whose access will be expired after a certain time period.

2. Dropbox added new extensions for WhatsApp, Outlook, Canva, and DocSend

Dropbox has added and upgraded dozens extensions, making it easier for users to access services offered by other applications like WhatsApp, Canva, WeVideo, Gmail, Adobe, Vimeo, and DocSend within its native platform.

3. Dropbox acquired e-signature startup, HelloSign for $230M

HelloSign, an e-signature startup started by HelloFax to foster a paperless work environment by enabling electronic signatures, has been acquired by Dropbox for $230M.

Though the actual motive behind this acquisition is not yet revealed, it is likely to enhance users’ experience while dealing with documentation online.

Now as you are familiar with what is Dropbox and why is it in the headlines, let’s ponder upon what made the following reputed brands turn towards this platform, aka, what challenges has it solved.

companies that uses dropbox

What Challenges Does Dropbox Solved in the Market?

1. Inconvenience and Disorganization

The foremost challenge that Dropbox resolved is inconvenience and disorganization.

The platform served users with an option to simply drag and drop files, add labels, share with others, alongside getting them organized in a particular order automatically. This gave users an escape from buying hundreds of external memory disks, adding/saving data onto them, managing them, etc.

2. Security and Recovery Issues

Unlike earlier means, Dropbox provides cloud storage service where data is distributed on multiple servers and safeguarded from renowned malwares. Also, the application offered the service of automated backups and snapshots that aided users with a safe experience.

3. Hassle of Collaboration

Earlier, collaborating a complete team onto the same file was nothing less than an impossible task.

Dropbox resolved this challenge by offering the option to access and edit the same document on multiple platforms at the same time while sitting in different corners of the world, which counted under the prime benefits of Dropbox app.

4. Higher Cost

Above all, the platform gave users an opportunity to enjoy the finest of cloud services for free (premium model for upgraded services). They were no further required to spend on buying and managing external storage devices like Pen drives and Hard disks.

With this attended to, it’s time to turn towards the technical aspect of what it takes to develop a dropbox like app – starting with app features.

Top Features of Dropbox App

top features of dropbox app

1. Create a Document/Folder

One of the main features of Dropbox app is that it lets users create a document or folder that would contain all the information to be stored on Cloud.

2. Take a Photo

This feature gives users an opportunity to click a photo and upload it on the Cloud in real-time.

3. Upload Photos/Videos/Files

With this feature, users can upload any photo, video, or document saved on their local device to the Cloud.

4. Scan a Document

Dropbox also offers the option to scan any particular document and get it saved on the cloud anytime.

Mobile_DocScanner_Alt@2x

5. Add File from a Computer

When user go to the webpage dropbox.com/connect, a QR code displays on the screen. When you scan it from your dropbox application, the dropbox setup gets downloaded on your device. On installing it, you can easily upload files stored on your computer to the cloud and access on both mobile and computer.

6. Offline Access

Another distinct feature of Dropbox is that it is available for use even when there’s poor or no internet.

7. Notifications

The notification functionality of Dropbox application keeps users informed about the status of every activity performed on the platform, and more.

8. Search

This feature makes it easier for users to find for any particular document/file.

9. Dropbox Paper

Dropbox Paper is a collaborative workspace that aids coworkers to create and share ideas while working on the same/different project.

10. Preview and Download

With this feature, Dropbox also offers the functionality of viewing and downloading any document/file uploaded by you or shared by others on the platform.

11. Share a File

Using this feature, users can easily share a file to any other dropbox account holder. 

sharing

 

12. Copy Link

This functionality also gives an option to copy the link of your uploaded file.

13. Manage Access

The Dropbox’s feature simplifies the process of safeguarding sensitive information by giving users the power to determine who should have the access to view/edit to their documents, and more.

14. Export

Last but not least, export functionality of Dropbox – as depicted from the name – lets users export the file on the local device memory or other applications.

These features are undeniably exciting and enticing. But, what makes users fall for this application is the user experience it offers. A bit about which we will discuss in the next section of the article.

UI/UX Analysis of Dropbox-like Application

 

ui design

1. Animated Onboarding Screens

Dropbox has effectively used the power of Motion design in their application. They have added animated yet cartoonish elements into their onboarding screens and even others to give a pleasant experience.

2. Minimalism Design

The cloud service providing application has also effectively used the concept of minimalism app design. They have worked on introducing only the core elements, use basic colors, and add a lot much whitespace to the screens.

3. Ease of Login

Dropbox has also made the sign up process simpler and swift by adding the option of signing up with Gmail. This has prevented various users from getting anxious on filling lengthy sign up forms and eventually, exiting the platform. And this way, improved its user retention rate.

As we have already explained in an article on how to choose mobile app tech stack, features solely can’t rule the hearts of the users. The technology stack you opt adds life to the app features and enables it to surpass the users’ demands. 

So, taking the same into consideration, let’s take a glimpse look of what to consider in terms of dropbox clone app tech stack.

Tech Stack of Dropbox-like App Development

tech stack of dropbox

The insights of dropbox clone app tech stack and features might have been triggering you to connect with the best mobile app development company and get your application live in the market at the earliest.

But before you take a step, it is wise to be familiar with what challenges they might be dealing with while creating an app like Dropbox or Google Drive. This will aid you to make realistic expectations and collaborate with the hired developers in an effective way.

So, here we go.

Development Challenges Your Team Might Face While Creating a Dropbox like App

1. Building for Multiple Platforms

One of the prominent challenges in developing an app like dropbox that developers deal with is building an application for multiple platforms. Now, while they would have an option to introduce the best cross platform development frameworks to their mobility solutions, but this might bring an effect on the quality. This is because every platform has their specific design and development guidelines.

At the same time, going with native approach will bring a rise in the mobile app development timeline and affect the uniform design across all the platforms.

2. Introducing Machine Learning Mechanism

In the case of Dropbox, the monitoring and alerting process performs around 200,000 queries across 1,000 machines with 1000x of speed which was possible earlier. This aids the team to gain insights about what the server is doing, what are the possible threats, and more. They employ this information to debug all the errors and deliver a secure yet efficient experience to the audience.

So, when developing such a Dropbox-clone application, your development team might find a challenge in building such an extensive and faster monitoring and alerting process to deliver a safer experience.

With this covered, let’s move to the core part of the article, i.e, determining dropbox-like app development cost.

How Much Does it Cost to Build App like Dropbox?

The cost to make a mobile app, as we have already shared in our mobile app development guide, is varied. It depends on multiple factors, such as no. of platforms, no. of app screens, app size, types of design elements, coding hours, location and size of hired mobile app development agency, the technologies and tools used, etc.

So, the only way to get an estimate of the Dropbox-like app development cost is to connect with top app experts and discuss your app idea.

Now while we’ve talked about the Dropbox clone app development cost that you need to invest in. Let’s extend this article to find out how to earn the money back with the app. Or simply say, look into the business and revenue model of Dropbox mobile app.

Dropbox’s Business and Revenue Model

business and revenue model of dropbox

This business and revenue model will enable you to establish your market presence and get ROI – just the way Dropbox gains. There’s no denying that. But, to grab better opportunities and earn effective results, you are required to put your extra efforts into this. 

Wondering what type of effort to invest into the process? What are the ways to get better business and revenue opportunities and get the Dropbox-like app development cost back quickly? Let’s end this article while covering the same.

Tips and Tactics to Get Higher Profits from Investing in Dropbox-like Mobile Application

1. Use Voice Technology for Searching

Considering the growing trend of Voice search, it is again good to integrate the power of Voice technology into your application and enable users to perform certain actions effortlessly.

2. Embrace Blockchain and IoT

The convergence of Blockchain and IoT, i.e, Blockchain of Things is also getting the attention of business enthusiasts and developers in terms of security, transparency, speed, and convenience. So, considering them while planning to build such an app and estimate the Dropbox-like app development cost is yet another tip to elevate the ROI.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dropbox and Its App Development Cost

Q. What app is similar to Dropbox?

There are various alternative apps of Dropbox such as Google Drive, OneDrive, pCloud, and Box.

Q. What programming language does Dropbox use?

Though Python is basically used for developing Dropbox cloud storage platform, various other languages that have contributed to the process are Objective-C, C++, Swift, CoffeeScript, JavaScript, and Java.

Q. Is Dropbox free to use?

Yes, the basic version of Dropbox that comes with 2GB of memory storage is free. However, you would have to pay to upgrade your account version and get more Cloud storage.

Shrikant Srivastava
Shrikant Srivastava
VP Technology
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