Dropbox app gets doc scanning & more, but now requires desktop app for free auto camera uploads


Dropbox is getting some notable updates today for both the mobile apps and desktop that bring a number of new productivity tools and features to the service. It’s also changing its mobile camera uploads feature for basic users to require they have the desktop app installed or a paid Pro account.

Among the new features with today’s update, mobile app users get a document scanning function to upload images of paper documents. Other new features bring enhancements for both mobile and desktop Dropbox users.

Scan documents in Dropbox: With document scanning, you can now use the Dropbox mobile app to capture and organize scans from whiteboards, receipts, and sketches, so your ideas are right at your fingertips. Dropbox Business users can even search inside the scans…

Dropbox is also changing how its camera uploads feature works today, which isn’t exactly a feature enhancement. You’ll now be required to install the Dropbox desktop application to continue using the camera uploads feature on mobile if you have a free, Basic account. Otherwise you can upgrade to Dropbox Pro or just forget the feature ever existed.

Dropbox says it’s making the change because Basic users keep running out of space and having the desktop app will allow them to manage the photos and transfer when necessary to clear space:

Why is camera uploads changing? When you automatically upload all your photos to Dropbox, your Basic account can quickly run out of space. By connecting a computer to your account, you can easily transfer photos and organize them on a computer so you don’t run out of space in your Dropbox.

It’s also probably not a bad way to encourage upgrades to its paid Pro plans and installations of its desktop offerings.

Mac and PC users also get sharing improvements today with the ability to share a file or folder directly from the Finder with a right-click. And users can now add comments to a specific part of a file.

Lastly, a new Version History feature will allow users to view and restore older versions of files if necessary, and users will also notice some improvements for sharing controls:

Share with more control: Sometimes you just need to work with a select group of collaborators. Our simple, yet powerful new sharing features give you more control. Now you can share a single file with specific people, who will need to log in to see it. And with view-only access for shared folders, now available for all users, you can also let people follow along.

The updates for Dropbox, including the Android app, will rollout today. 

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & Electrek.co. He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.