A few years ago, Dropbox partnered with Microsoft, and the official line about the partnership was that the cloud-storage company wanted to help its users work better and easier in the tools they're already used to. For untold millions, Microsoft Office is a big part of that workflow, so tying Dropbox tightly into Office made both services work better. Today, Dropbox is doing the same thing with Google. A partnership between the two companies was announced earlier this year, and today we're seeing the first product: a Dropbox add-on for Gmail.
As you might expect, this new add-on makes it a lot easier to bring your Dropbox content into Gmail, but that's not all it does. Once the new plugin has been installed, it shows up on the right-side rail of Gmail; in the new redesign, it's in the same spot as the links that open Calendar, Tasks or Keep in the same window as Gmail. Clicking that Dropbox icon prompts the app to scan whatever email thread you have open for attachments, whether they're links to Dropbox or more traditional file attachments.
Rather than just a list of files, the Dropbox add-on includes handy contextual info -- who sent the file, when it was shared, the file names and where it can be found (Dropbox or email). It's a pretty simple solution, but if you've ever dug through dozens of messages in an email thread to find that one the file you need, you'll appreciate this new tool.