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How to Download Full-Res Images From Dropbox to Your iPad

Dropbox to goodreader

Dropbox is a great tool for moving files between different operating systems, but it isn’t perfect. If you use the Dropbox iPad app, then you may have noticed one glaring weakness: if you download images to your iPad’s Camera Roll via the app, you’ll find that the image quality is horrible. Yes, the Dropbox iPad app downconverts your images, leaving you with, in technical terms, crappy photos. There are at least a couple of workarounds, though.

I first noticed this problem in my never-ending quest to get images from my Android phone onto my iPad. I’ve previously written about how to do this both with and without wires. Dropbox seemed like the next logical solution to the problem. I uploaded my photos to a Dropbox folder from my Android phone, using the Dropbox Android app. I then downloaded the photos to my iPad using the Dropbox iPad app, only to see the horrible image quality.

Workaround #1 is to just visit your Dropbox account in Safari, instead of using the iPad app. From there you can click the link to each photo to display it, one at a time. Then perform a long press on each photo after it loads and select”Save Image.” That will send each photo into your camera roll.

Dropbox web interface

Workaround #2 is to use Goodreader, a PDF reader for the iPad that is more of an uber file and document manager. With Goodreader, you can input your Dropbox credentials, browse your Dropbox files, and download full resolution copies of your photos.

In Goodreader, add your Dropbox account in the “Connect to Server” section by clicking the “Add” button. Once you’ve entered your credentials and logged into your Dropbox account, browse through your Dropbox folders in Goodreader until you find your photos. Tap on each photo that you want to download (you can select multiple photos), and click the “Download” button. Choose where you want the photos to be saved in Goodreader, and then click the next download button.

Goodreader save dialog


You can then Close Goodreader’s Dropbox window. Go to the “My Documents” pane in Goodreader, and browse to the location where you just saved the photos. One by one, you can load each photo, and tap on the camera icon to save it to your Camera Roll.

Goodreader photo browser 1


Goodreader costs $4.99 in the App Store, but it is a worthwhile investment, given how versatile it is.

Do you have another method for getting photos onto your iPad? If so, let us know in the comments.