Scaling down large image files using the get thumbnail API

As digital cameras evolve, including the ones in our smartphones, photos produced by them constantly increase in resolution and file size. For instance, on my current smartphone, the average file size of pictures goes between 6-8 MB, when the ones produced by my 3-year-old smartphone average 2-3 MB.

Having a large file size is not a problem when previewing images directly in the Dropbox website or the Dropbox mobile apps as these surfaces are optimized for large files, but presents challenges when interacting with other APIs.

If you’re transferring your images to a third party API for processing (like an image recognition AI),

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New file upload link API

The get_temporary_upload_link API endpoint is now officially out of preview and available for production use. Developers can use this API call to get pre-signed upload URLs. 

Use Case

One of the most common actions a Dropbox integration will perform is to add new content.  

The upload endpoint is used to push binary content to Dropbox. This is perfect for apps where the file is local to the machine connecting to Dropbox. However, for some types of client-server applications that integrate with Dropbox, this may be not optimal. For example, you may have a server-based application which manages all state and interaction with Dropbox and a mobile client that connects your server.  

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Streamlining workflows with Dropbox APIs

The DBX Platform helps bridge the silos between people and content by connecting the tools they use at work. We are excited to share the story of four developers who integrated with Dropbox to streamline workflows for their users. 

This year we hosted Dropbox Developer Meetups in San Francisco, Seattle, and New York to connect with and inspire our local communities of developers. At each of these events, we conducted a panel discussion with developers to learn about their integrations with Dropbox, the use cases they solve, and their experience building with the Dropbox APIs. At our New York City event,

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Acompli improves mobile email app experience with Dropbox document preview API

We’ve been testing a new document preview API with developers over the past few weeks and are happy to announce that it is ready for everyone! This API endpoint makes it easy to show previews of files from within your app and supports the most popular document formats including PDF, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.

Kevin Henrikson is the Cofounder & VP Engineering of Acompli and here are his thoughts on the new document preview API.

Acompli combines email, calendar, file sharing, and contacts. We created the ability to view and attach files to email but we wrestled with the ability to show users an accurate preview of those files.

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A single call for metadata and file content

Until now, retrieving a file’s metadata and its content required two API calls – one to retrieve the metadata and another to get the file’s contents at the revision indicated in the metadata.

We recently updated the /files REST API call to start returning the file’s metadata in a special header (x-dropbox-metadata) in the HTTP response. Accordingly, we extended all the official SDKs to expose the metadata along with the file’s contents when a client requests a file download. We also made a similar change to the /thumbnails call (and added corresponding methods to the SDKs) that returns the metadata for the file whose thumbnail is being requested.

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