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Dropbox for iOS update removes full-resolution photo limitation, adds iPhone 5 compatibility

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It's not all good news, though, with significantly increased download times


Dropbox has released version 1.5.6 of its iOS app. It's now adapted for the iPhone 5's taller screen, and users are also finally able to download photos to their devices in full resolution. Previously the app downscaled photos when saving to the camera roll, so for example a 14-megapixel 4592 x 3056 image became just 960 x 638 when viewed on the iOS device. This was particularly aggravating when using the app on a Retina display, and made Dropbox less useful as a photo storage tool than it otherwise might have been — though it was possible to get around the limitation by saving images from Safari.

It's good to see the issue addressed, then, but the feature isn't without its problems. Photos are still compressed upon downloading; we saw the aforementioned image downsized from 4.8MB to 3.3MB, and while the resolution was maintained there was some fairly noticeable color compression. Downloads also take considerably longer than before even with this reduction in filesize, leaving us waiting a few minutes to save a single photo. All in all the update will please some people, but others might be frustrated if they prioritize speed over detail.