Cloud file syncing and sharing service Dropbox today is announcing several enhancements to its iOS app. Now it has an iMessage App — one of many new features of iOS 10 — that lets users share files with previews in the standard-issue Messages app. And there is a new home screen widget from which you can quickly start scanning, creating, and viewing documents.
Starting with iOS 9, Apple made it possible for users to run two apps next to each other on one display on the high-end iPad Pro tablets, and soon Dropbox will support that Split View feature, as well as the picture-in-picture feature that arrived for iPad in iOS 9. For some time now, users have been demanding Split View support, and picture in picture is not common among Dropbox’s peers, Dropbox group product manager Matteus Pan told VentureBeat in an interview.
As for the iMessage App, Dropbox had been working on it for months ahead of the recent release of the feature in iOS 10. “What we do know is that a lot of our users are using different forms of messaging tools. We really want Dropbox to work well with all of them,” Pan said.
But perhaps the most significant announcement of the day for Dropbox is that you’ll now be able to add your signature to PDF files inside the iOS app. Third-party partner DocuSign has offered a way to sign PDFs on mobile devices, but the new feature is meant to be lightweight and fast; if you want a legally binding audit trail, a spokesperson tells VentureBeat, you’ll want to look to partners.
This announcement builds on Dropbox’s addition of document scanning in the iOS app in June. Box introduced document scanning on iOS in February, and Microsoft introduced the Office Lens document scanning app last year.
Also today, Dropbox is announcing a new way for the iOS app to let you know when a file you’re currently viewing gets updated. You’ll see a message at the top of the window with a link that says “Refresh.” Dropbox could have opted to simply change what’s onscreen, but this approach is gentler. “I think users are fairly sensitive to things that kind of disrupt their flow,” Pan said.
A blog post has more detail.