What is background uploading?

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iPad

Background uploading is a new option that helps your Camera Uploads finish without the need for you to open the Dropbox app.

You may have noticed that with long videos or big batches of photos, the Dropbox app stops uploading shortly after you close it and resumes uploading only when you open it again. This is due to a time limit iOS puts on apps running in the background.

However, with background uploading turned on, the app will automatically resume uploading for a few minutes whenever it detects a significant change in your iPad's location (such as when you commute home from work). You can go about your daily activities and the app will periodically upload without needing you to open it.

If you've chosen Wi-Fi only for Camera Uploads, background uploading will not use your cellular data and will resume when your device connects to a Wi-Fi network again.

Permission to use location data

The background uploading option needs information about your iPad's location in order to work. For this reason, the Dropbox app will request access to your iPad's location services when you turn on the option. This feature is designed to make your Camera Uploads work more efficiently. It doesn’t collect your location information.

What's with the arrow?

When the background uploading option is set to On, you'll see the location services arrow appear at the top of the screen:



This icon usually means that an app (such as a mapping app) is using your device's GPS system (if applicable) to keep track of your precise location—and eating up a lot of battery in the process. However, Dropbox's background uploading feature uses a low-power version of Apple's location services. If you have a big backlog of photos to upload, you may notice that the app uses some power. But once that's done, uploading new photos should have little effect on battery life.

iPhone

Background uploading is a new option that helps your Camera Uploads finish without the need for you to open the Dropbox app.

You may have noticed that with long videos or big batches of photos, the Dropbox app stops uploading shortly after you close it and resumes uploading only when you open it again. This is due to a time limit iOS puts on apps running in the background.

However, with background uploading turned on, the app will automatically resume uploading for a few minutes whenever it detects a significant change in your iPhone's location (such as when you commute home from work). You can go about your daily activities and the app will periodically upload without needing you to open it.

If you've chosen Wi-Fi only for Camera Uploads, background uploading will not use your cellular data and will resume when your device connects to a Wi-Fi network again.

Permission to use location data

The background uploading option needs information about your iPhone's location in order to work. For this reason, the Dropbox app will request access to your iPhone's location services when you turn on the option. This feature is designed to make your Camera Uploads work more efficiently. It doesn’t collect your location information.

What's with the arrow?

When the background uploading option is set to On, you'll see the location services arrow appear at the top of the screen:



This icon usually means that an app (such as a mapping app) is using your iPhone's GPS system to keep track of your precise location—and eating up a lot of battery in the process. However, Dropbox's background uploading feature uses a low-power version of Apple's location services. If you have a big backlog of photos to upload, you may notice that the app uses some power. But once that's done, uploading new photos should have little effect on battery life.

Why did the Camera Upload feature drain my battery?

The Camera Upload feature can sometimes drain your battery during its very first sync with Dropbox. After the backlog of photos on your device has uploaded, the app's battery usage should return to normal. The Dropbox app will also stop auto-uploading when your battery is below 30% in order to save battery life.

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