Dropbox has no plans to add support for Apple Silicon

Originally published at: Dropbox has no plans to add support for Apple Silicon | Boing Boing

3 Likes

This seem unsustainable and very weird.

Apparently Maestral is pretty good alternitive open source dropbox client.

6 Likes

Hate Dropbox and its stupid unnecessary and costly bloat. Delighted to have freed myself from it years ago.

Onedrive WILL support Apple silicon natively this year, but it doesn’t yet…

EDIT: Dropbox have just clarified that they WILL be providing M1-native versions sometime in the first half of 2022. Unsure if this is a volte-face or just poor comms - and don’t really care as long as no one forces me back to Dropbox.

8 Likes

I work for a large R1 university, and (for reasons unknown) we just switched to Dropbox from Box for our secure cloud storage. A LOT of people on campus use Macs. I’m going to ping my IT team about this. Perhaps we can exert some pressure on Dropbox to get their shit together. Ugh. Hate Dropbox.

5 Likes

People still use Dropbox? Their app has been a hog for resources for like… ever.

7 Likes

While I imagine the dropbox client has to do some ugly filesystem stuff to power its sync, I still gotta wonder about how ugly it is, to be a real challenge to port over to new hardware. I can definitely see it being a bit harder than “just compile it”, but if it’s much harder than that something is really jacked up in their client.

4 Likes

The bloat and extra features drove me away, too. They also kept doing things like faking an OS dialog to ask for your password around 2016.

4 Likes

I’ve been maintaining a couple of Dropbox accounts for client access, but the reality is that no one accesses the files there more than once before asking me to email them. If I put something in Google Drive (ugh), they’re all over it. Now my biggest client has One Drive/Sharepoint, which supports versioning and collaboration of actual MS Office files (there is absolutely no replacing Excel). DB has gone from must-have to obsolete in less than five years. Looks like it’s time to dump everything and delete my accounts. They’ve been doing nothing for some time now.

2 Likes

Was just going to post this too. Maestral is good. I use it on Linux though, but the website says it runs natively on Apple Silicon.

Better yet, Maestral doesn’t count towards the device limit you otherwise have for free accounts.

3 Likes

For some inexplicable goddamn reason, Dropbox seems to think it’s necessary to build a kernel extension in order to sync files.

It isn’t.

No competing cloud storage provider that supports the Mac has chosen the path they took. Google already has native Apple Silicon support in Drive, and they’re historically miserable at incorporating changes to the Apple ecosystem into their products. It turns out, Apple is kind of down on kexts these days, but that’s far from a new development (kexts have been on the way out since basically 10.7 Lion). The fact that Dropbox hasn’t come up with any sort of development timetable for moving to a less invasive means of syncing your content to their servers after all these years just smacks of rank incompetence, or at the very least unconscionable pigheadedness.

Also just as a periodic reminder, they employ Condoleezza Rice as a board member, and I kind of prefer to support companies that don’t directly hire war criminals.

11 Likes

Great to hear. I am waiting for the Fedex Fairy to deliver new m1pro mac tomorrow. I am going to try it out when I switch when i set up this new computer.

1 Like

Story was quickly updated with further info, including that Dropbox has it in testing (the original reply to the request was a forum person who wasn’t aware of what the backend team was working on). But yeah, not a great look for them.

And now I hear Dropbox has Condoleezza Rice? Well crap. What are my alternatives? No way I’m using Google drive OR Microsoft OneCloud. Whose got an alternative to Dropbox that works similar to it? Happy to take suggestions.

3 Likes

It’s not just Rosetta that kills the battery, it’s that dropbox is an Electron app.

4 Likes

It actually isn’t, unless DropBox is written in x86 assembly for some ungodly reason. It’s literally a checkbox in Xcode.

There’s likely to be some effort on the dev ops side to expand their CI/CD pipeline to include a new build target, but that’s an afternoon of effort at most for one junior engineer. No effort if they use a universal binary.

DropBox chooses the weirdest hills to die on. I stopped using it many moons ago when they removed the ability to post public direct links to files (for example for sharing photos in forums). That’s the only thing it was actually good for (and at the time, the only easy way to do that).

2 Likes

This is so a non-issue. Dropbox had a run at being a major cloud player. They blew it. I moved on four or five years ago.

Yawn.

3 Likes

I’ve been on Dropbox for ages, and haven’t looked for other options, but I am sick of the extra bloat they keep having. Plus, making you have a paid account to access shared folders depending on how it was shared with someone is the stupidest part (cause you end up with a copy of their data in your dropbox account).

What are people using as alternatives? I just wanted basic syncing software on multiple machines that provide storage to the cloud. And while I use Google Drive, I’ve not been a big fan of their sync tools in the past.

Edit: Oh, my favorite thing they did was kindly increasing the available storage in the paid plan, and was nice enough to start charging more for the extra storage I didn’t need or want. Real sketchy practice there.

OneDrive is perfectly serviceable, and even cross-platform (don’t know about Linux support though). It certainly seems to be more sensical than Google Drive, at least in my opinion. It also supports selective sync, so you don’t have to worry about puling down your entire cloud drive on every machine.

If you’re strictly in the Apple ecosystem, iCloud Drive is also quite functional these days, and IIRC their storage pricing is comparable to Dropbox’s. I’m hesitant to recommend it if you have Windows machines as well though, because the Windows client for iCloud is still kind of crappy, doesn’t really do selective sync (it just stubs out your entire drive and “intelligently” downloads files as you request them), and occasionally just… stops syncing entirely. If that happens, the only guaranteed fix is to disable and then re-enable storage sync, which will nuke your entire iCloud Drive folder. Depending on how much data you have stored up there, that might not be terribly friendly toward your data cap.

I’ve also heard multiple people recommend Box, but I haven’t used it personally.

2 Likes

SpiderOak has always been great, has linux clients and is zero knowledge, full encryption. Learned about it on BB of all places.

Dropbox can go be made irrelevant for all I care, they have gotten worse and worse.

edit: well, there’s an update that says they’re working on it, but you can pound sand for a year

From last year:

What about Rosetta 2?

Rosetta 2 is Apple’s latest iteration of their Rosetta technology, which allows you to run x64 Intel applications on their new arm64 Apple Silicon hardware. Although we believe that x64 Electron apps will run under Rosetta 2, there are some important things to note (and reasons why you should ship a native arm64 binary).

  • Your app’s performance will be significantly degraded. Electron / V8 uses JITcompilation for JavaScript, and due to how Rosetta works, you will effectively be running JIT twice (once in V8 and once in Rosetta).
  • You lose the benefit of new technology in Apple Silicon, such as the increased memory page size.
  • Did we mention that the performance will be significantly degraded?

Electron takes its own performance and battery hit, regardless of native or not; it being non-native Electron is just over the top bad.

For the many services that support it, I actually moved most of my electron apps over to “Edge Apps” running in Edge. I suspect Chrome has a similar feature. This way, Discord, whatsapp, slack, and facebook messenger all run inside the 1 instance of the (native) browser. It saves a ton of power, memory, etc. Can’t do that with Dropbox though, so I just leave it closed.

2 Likes