Using Sparrow and Dropbox to add private attachments

In the traditional sense, Shortmail does not support attachments. We think that extraneous logos, vCards, and content in Word documents or pdfs distracts from the message itself, and clutters the communication. But we do realize that sometimes it’s desirable to share a document, image or video – and one of the best ways to do this is to use a service like Dropbox.

Neil Boyd, one of our favorite beta users, recently video blogged how to use Dropbox and Sparrow to “send” an attachment over Shortmail. We love it!

Neil points out that all links embedded in a Shortmail message are shortened using our own link shortener, It’s true that you can play ‘link roulette’, seeing what links others are sharing on our site (you can also do this with, and Since Dropbox links are often private (and obfuscated), this increases the possibility that the Shortmail/Dropbox user’s file is exposed to others.

Earlier today, we added a fix to our system so that Dropbox public urls are never shortened by our url shortener.

Now you can send Dropbox urls over Shortmail without the risk of having them available through yet another obsfucated url. And since the recently-released Sparrow 1.5 makes it so easy to use Dropbox to “attach” files to email, we hope our Shortmail users will continue to use these tools to communicate in ways that matter to them.

How do you prefer to “attach” files to Shortmail messages? What can we do to make it even easier for you?

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