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Dropbox adds scanning to iOS app, changes camera uploads

With the Dropbox app, you can now scan documents using your iPhone or iPad. Changes are also coming soon to camera uploads for Dropbox Basic users.

Matt Elliott Contributor
Matt Elliott, a technology writer for more than a decade, is a PC tester and Mac user based in New Hampshire.
Matt Elliott
2 min read
Matt Elliott/CNET

So long, Scanner Pro. My previous workflow for scanning documents on my iPhone or iPad was to use the Scanner Pro app to scan and then use Dropbox to share them or move them to my computer. With Dropbox adding document scanning to its iOS app, I can streamline my scanning operations.

To scan a document using the updated Dropbox iOS app, tap the big "+" button that now resides at the bottom of the screen and tap Scan Document.

After scanning a document, you are taking to the Edit screen where can add additional pages by tapping the "+" button in the lower-left corner. Also from the Edit screen, you can adjust the borders and contrast of your scanned document, rotate it, and choose from three filters: B&W, Whiteboard and Original. From the Arrange screen, you can rearrange the order if you have scanned multiple pages.

Tap Next to name the scan and choose a Dropbox folder where you want the file saved. For single-page scans, you can save them as either a PDF or PNG; multipage scans can have up to 10 pages and be saved only as PDFs.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Camera uploads are changing

In addition to scanning capabilities, Dropbox announced it will soon make changes to camera uploads for Dropbox Basic users. Beginning on July 22, if you aren't paying for Dropbox Pro, you will need to install the Dropbox desktop application in order to continue using camera uploads.

Dropbox says it is making this change because "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."

Alternatively, you can upgrade to a Dropbox Pro account (and its 1TB of space) to continue with camera uploads on your phone without the desktop app.

Create Microsoft Office docs on the go

The Dropbox iOS app update also includes the ability to creating Microsoft Office documents right on your iPhone or iPad without needing any Office apps on your device. Tap the new "+" button and you can create Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files without leaving the Dropbox app.