Major Dropbox productivity upgrade includes ability to scan and search

23 Jun 2016

Dropbox, the Swiss Army Knife of the Cloud, has revealed a slew of nifty new desktop and iOS features including scan and search

Dropbox is effectively the Swiss Army Knife of the cloud for most people, and it has just revealed a slew of new features that could be incredibly useful, including the ability to use the camera on iOS devices to scan documents and subsequently search within those scans.

Dropbox now has more than 500m users worldwide, revealed Todd Jackson, VP of Product and Design at the cloud player and former head of product management at Twitter.

He said the aim of the new iOS productivity tools is to simplify, unify and secure users’ work.

Future Human

With a new document-scanning feature, users can use their iOS Dropbox app to capture and organise scans from whiteboards, receipts and sketches.

For premium Dropbox Business users, the clever thing is the users can actually search inside the scans.

Users of the Dropbox iOS app can now use the new plus button in the app to launch Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel files instantly from the mobile device and they will be saved to Dropbox automatically.

Dropbox also said that users of its basic service will need to connect their account to a computer if they want to properly manage their photos and avoid running out of space.

Dropbox’s nifty new desktop features

As well as changes to the iOS app, Dropbox has come up with some nifty new desktop features.

For example, when you right-click on a file or folder in Mac Finder or Windows Explorer you can now share right from the desktop without redirecting to the web or copying a link to email.

Collaboration features have been given a boost in terms of the ability to add comments to a specific part of a file and give precise feedback, highlight a piece of text or an image within a file preview.

Dropbox’s Version History feature makes it easy to recover old files or revisit ideas. But now it is possible to preview prior file versions and restore them.

It has also introduced a new single file-sharing feature that will enable users to share a file with specific people who need to log in first, as well as the ability to enable view-only access to shared folders.

Dropbox image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years