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Using Cloud Services to Back Up Data on Your Samsung Galaxy Tab

The Galaxy Tab 2 comes with the Dropbox cloud storage service installed so you can share files, especially large files, with other Dropbox users. Even if you don’t have Dropbox pre-installed on your Galaxy Tab, you can download the app from the Google Play Store. In this article, you’ll learn how to download, install, and use the Dropbox app. Tasks you’ll learn about include navigating through folders, viewing files, and searching for files. If you have Dropbox pre-installed on your Galaxy Tab 2, you’ll learn how to increase your file storage capacity to over 50GB at no additional charge. You’ll also learn how to shop for other cloud storage service apps in the Google Play Store if you want to use a different service or want to compare and contrast cloud storage services.
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If you purchased a Galaxy Tab 2, then the Dropbox app came installed on your device. Dropbox is a “cloud storage” service that allows you to upload files onto their server computers. You can give another Dropbox user access to one or more folders in your account so that other user can upload files to and download files from that folder. Cloud storage services make it easy for you to share large files with others, especially because the maximum file attachment sizes in email messages can vary depending on the email service you use. And downloading email messages with large file attachments can take a long time, anyway.

Don’t worry if you don’t have Dropbox installed on your Galaxy Tab...you can download it from the Google Play Store. You also don’t have to use Dropbox on your Tab because there are other cloud storage apps available that you can download, and you’ll learn how to shop for other cloud service apps later in this article. Find Dropbox in the Play Store by tapping the Play Store icon in the home screen as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 The Play Store icon appears near the far right of the row of icons at the bottom of the home screen.

Tap the Search icon in the Google Play menu bar and then type Dropbox in the Search Google Play box. You will see Dropbox (and its associated blue box logo) at the top of the search list so you can tap on it and open the Dropbox app page shown in Figure 2. Begin the installation process by tapping Install.

Figure 2 Swipe up and down the right side of the page to view more information about the Dropbox app.

In the Dropbox window that contains a list of permissions, tap the Accept & Download button to download and install the app. After Dropbox is installed, tap the Open button. You’ll see the Welcome to Dropbox page on the screen as shown in Figure 3. Tap Start at the bottom of the screen to begin the setup process.

Figure 3 The Welcome to Dropbox screen is the first screen you see after you install and open Dropbox.

The login screen appears as shown in Figure 4 so you can type your login email account in the Email box and the password in the Password box. If you don’t have a Dropbox account, tap New to Dropbox? and then create a free account. After you type the email address and password, tap the Log In button.

Figure 4 If you already have an existing Dropbox account, type the login information into the Email and Password boxes.

In the next step, you’ll be reminded to save your photos automatically to Dropbox and that you’ll get an extra 500MB of storage space after you upload your first photo. Tap Next to proceed to the next step where you’ll be asked to upload existing photos and videos on your Galaxy Tab to your Dropbox account by tapping the Turn On button. If you don’t want to upload existing photos and videos during setup but still want to turn on the upload function, clear the Upload existing photos and videos checkbox and then tap the Turn On button.

If you decide to upload existing photos and videos during setup, Dropbox scans your Galaxy Tab and uploads those photos to your Dropbox account automatically. You’ll see a screen full of uploaded photos categorized by the month in which the photos were taken as shown in Figure 5. In the blue menu bar at the top of the page, the Photo icon has a white bar underneath it that indicates the Photos page is open.

Figure 5 Swipe up and down the page to scroll through all photos currently stored in your Dropbox account.

Tap the Dropbox icon on the far left side of the menu bar to view the home Dropbox folder. This folder contains all files and subfolders within the Dropbox folder. Tap a folder name to open the folder on the screen. When you find a file that you want to view, tap the file to view it. If the file is a photo or image file, then the file opens within the built-in Dropbox image viewer.

After a couple of seconds, the menu bar at the top of the image disappears so you can view the image in its entirety. Open the menu again by tapping on the image. The menu bar appears at the top of the screen as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 The menu bar appears at the top of the screen above the image.

You can view the name of the file in the left side of the menu bar and perform different tasks by tapping one of the following icons on the right side of the bar, from left to right:

  • Tap the Favorite icon to add the image file you’re viewing to your Favorites list.
  • Share a link to the file by tapping the Link icon and then selecting the link from the menu. You can copy the link to the clipboard so you can paste it in another document, link to the file via a Bluetooth connection, share the link in an email message, share the link on one or more social media websites including Google+ and social networking services in the Social Hub app, or transmit the link to another device via your Wi-Fi connection.
  • Tap the Export link to export the file to an SD card, to a photo app, through a direct connection such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, in an email message, or on a social networking service in Google+ or your social networking sites within the Social Hub app.
  • Delete the photo or image from Dropbox by tapping the Trash icon.

Return to the subfolder page by tapping the Back button in the status bar. You can return to the main Dropbox folder by tapping Up to Dropbox at the top of the list.

If you tap a file that requires another app to view, the app that can view the file opens on the screen and displays the file. The Complete Action Using window appears and displays a list of apps that can open the file if there is more than one app that can open it. You can tell Dropbox to always use the selected app by tapping the Use by default for this action checkbox. Tap the app in the list to open the app and display the file contents. When you finish viewing the file, tap the Back button in the status bar to return to the Dropbox screen.

In the menu bar, tap the Favorites icon to view all the files you marked as favorites. All the files appear in the Favorites folder so you can view all your important files within one screen. If you uploaded a new version of the file to Dropbox but that change isn’t reflected in your Favorites list, tap the Update All button in the lower right corner of the screen.

When you’re viewing files or subfolders within a Dropbox folder, you’ll see the Search icon on the right side of the menu bar next to the Menu icon. Tap the Search icon to open the Search my Dropbox box as shown in Figure 7 so you can start typing your search term(s) in the box.

Figure 7 The Search my Dropbox box on top of the menu bar at the top of the screen.

Tap the Search button in the keyboard to begin the search. The Search Dropbox screen appears and lists any files that match your search term. For example, if you type JPG in the search box to search for JPEG-format image files, the Search Dropbox page displays all the files with the JPG file extension. Tap the Back button in the status bar to return to the previous Dropbox screen.

Tap the Menu icon at the far right of the menu bar to view the task menu for the screen you’re on. The menu will display the Help and Settings options no matter what page you’re on. If you’re viewing files and/or subfolders within a Dropbox folder, you’ll see four other options:

  • Upload here so you can upload files to the current folder you’re viewing.
  • New folder to add a new subfolder within the current folder.
  • New text file so you can type a new text file within the New Text File screen. This new text file will appear in the folder and is useful if you want another Dropbox user who has access to the folder to read important information.
  • Refresh to refresh the list of files and/or subfolders.

When you tap the Settings option in the menu, you’ll see information about your account within the Dropbox Account section shown in Figure 8.

Figure 8 Swipe down the screen to see more information about Dropbox and access advanced features.

The most important feature on this page is the amount of space used in the Space used area. The default amount of space you receive is 3GB. If you have Dropbox pre-installed on your Galaxy Tab 2, then when you run the Dropbox app for the first time you’ll receive an email message inviting you to add 48GB to your total space so you have more than 51GB of space available for the next twelve months. After the twelve month period is over, you’ll be asked to renew use of that space for a fee.

When you visit the Dropbox website, you’ll see different ways to add more space to your account...many of them for free. For example, if you refer someone to Dropbox and that person signs up, you get 500MB of extra space per friend up to 16GB (that is, thirty-two friends). You can also purchase monthly plans starting at $9.99 per month for 100GB of space.

After you finish viewing the Settings page, tap the Back icon in the status bar to return to the folder screen. If you would like to shop for other cloud storage options on your Galaxy Tab, tap the Home icon in the status bar and then tap Play Store in the home screen. Next, tap Apps in the Play Store, tap the Search icon in the menu, and then type “cloud storage” (without the quotes) in the Search Google Play box. You can then shop for cloud storage apps in the search results page shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9 Swipe up and down the list to view all the cloud storage apps you can download.

You can download as many apps as you want to compare each app and see which one is best for your cloud service needs. Then you can share your files with others wherever you are with your Galaxy Tab.

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