Review: Dropzone 3

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I’m a bit late in covering this major update to one of my favorite applications. I’ve been too busy enjoying it, I guess.

Dropzone is a menu bar app that lets you add “Destinations” — icons representing actions to take on dragged-and-dropped items. You can have it do anything from open the file(s) in an application to upload images to Flickr, share them through Dropbox, or get really advanced with a bit of scripting1. You simply drag files to the icon in the menu bar and a palette opens up, allowing you to drop the files on any of your destinations.

The new release includes some pretty huge changes. It starts small, with things like a larger drop target in the menu bar, and ends big with a whole new bundling system and API for the Destinations.

One of the best new features is the Drop Bar, which simply lets you collect files for later actions. You can drag the files back out to Finder for a move or copy operation, or act on them right within Dropzone. Similar to Yoink, but integrated into an app that makes perfect sense for this action.

Adding and organizing Destinations used to require a trip to preferences and was split across multiple screens. Now you can just drag folders and applications straight into the grid, and reorganize it with simple drag-and-drop.

For long running processes, you also get a progress bar right in the grid. The menu bar icon also animates to show the progress of actions, similar to the way Droplr shows upload progress. It’s a truly useful bit of polish on an interface I already thought was pretty great.

The most exciting part to me is the new bundle system. Installing actions is easier than ever, and they can receive automatic updates from developers. The Ruby API, which offers the ability to perform any scriptable action, is expanded and improved. SCP uploads, Dropbox actions, image compression… check out the GitHub repository for a load of examples.

I consider Dropzone indispensible, and the latest version is packed with improvements that make it even more so. If you’ve never tried it out, give it a shot. Much like PopClip (another indispensible tool for me), it takes a bit of use to truly integrate it into your workflow, but once you do, you won’t go back.

For a very limited time you can pick up Dropzone 3 on the Mac App Store for $4.99 US (normally $9.99). Get it.

  1. Mine can take an image from anywhere, optimize it and upload it for my Jekyll blog, returning a Liquid-formatted image link with proper sizes to my clipboard. Just as an example…