Dropbox is a free internet-based service that TimePilot uses with its iPhone App. Here’s how it works: You go to www.Dropbox.com, sign up with an e-mail address, create a password, and download and install a small software program. The program puts a folder on your desktop and calls it "Dropbox."
As long as you have an internet connection, anything you put in your Dropbox folder is immediately copied to Dropbox’s servers. Make a change to a file in your Dropbox folder, and the new version is immediately sent to Dropbox. If you don't have an internet connection at the time, Dropbox synchronizes your files as soon as your connection is restored.
But Dropbox can do a lot more than that. Add your Dropbox account to your other computers and smartphones, and your files can be accessed on any of those devices. When you make a change to a file, the change is synchronized across all of your devices.
In addition, you can create a folder within your Dropbox folder and share the contents of just that folder with another person anywhere in the world. Anything you put in that particular folder will be copied to the Dropbox servers, and also sent instantly to the other user’s shared folder in Dropbox.
Here’s one way this can be used: One of our employees had a son living in China, and when the son wanted to share pictures with his parents, he’d simply put them in his shared Dropbox folder. Within seconds, they were backed up and copies had arrived in the shared folder in Dropbox on his parents’ computer in the U.S.
The TimePilot iPhone App uses Dropbox in a similar way: An iPhone user taps a button in the App to send the clock-in and clock-outs they have collected on their iPhone to a folder on the Dropbox servers via the internet. That folder is shared with a Dropbox folder on their supervisor's computer, and the data immediately appears in the supervisor's Dropbox folder, ready for importing into TimePilot Central. Below is a diagram that shows how it all works: