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Blogsy and Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive

May 17th, 2012 | Posted by Lance in Blogsy | FAQ | Features

From day one of the release of Blogsy in the App Store we have gotten regular emails from users asking for Dropbox integration. So toward the end of last year we looked into adding it to Blogsy. Unfortunately the Dropbox API does not provide the public URL so we cannot build in the ability to drag and drop images from Dropbox. Even though they provide a URL for an image in a public folder and you can use this to embed an image in a blog post, they do not provide this same URL through the API. You can actually test this out on your own. You can open your Dropbox account in Blogsy’s built-in browser and drag an image into your blog post from the browser. It will look fine in your post in Blogsy but if you publish your post with this image and a visitor comes to your blog and they are not signed into their Dropbox account then they will just see a blank spot where the images should be.

With all the news recently about Google Drive, SkyDrive and cloud storage in general we decided to look into adding these services to Blogsy. But with frustration we found that none of them provide the public URL through the API. So, until one of these cloud services changes their API we are not able to add them to Blogsy.

There are a couple of ways to go about using your images on a cloud service within Blogsy.

1) Use the service’s app to save the image to your iPad library then in Blogsy you can upload that image to a different place (Blog’s media library, Picasa, Flickr) and use it in the blog post.

2) First copy the public URL for your image on one of these services. Next, drag in a random image into your blog post then double-tap on the image to get the Image Settings menu. In this menu replace the source image URL with the public URL you copied earlier. You will most likely also want to change the Link URL. Now the image will be in Dropbox and embedded in your post.

If you have found another workaround please share it with us.

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19 Responses

  • Barb says:

    Lance, I could not find a place to E-Mail you directly so will do so here. I’m traveling and trying to post to my blog using Blogsy. Whenever I try uploading to Picasa, the app shuts down. I’ve managed to upload 2 photos at a time from my camera roll and then it quits so I have to start at the beginning of camera roll again. I’m in Aspen, CO at present – Intenet connection seems fine (Little Nell Hotel). I have published several posts to my blogs using Blogsy and have mentioned your app on my blogs. However, at present, I’m frustrated!

    Barb

    • Lance says:

      Hello Barb,

      Thank you for contacting us. You can email us at info(at)fomola(dot)com.

      Can you please email us with the details. No one else is reporting a problem like this so we need to go back and forth trying to track down the problem.

      Looking forward to getting your email and getting this resolved for you.

      Regards,
      Lance

  • Karl says:

    Not sure if they are any different about offering access to the photo URL, but another cloud service is http://www.sugarsync.com. They are similar to Dropbox but do not require a special folder for storing files, instead they leave the files where they are and just link them for backup.

    • Lance says:

      Hello Karl,

      Thank you for providing that information. Yes, we have heard of sugarsync before but for some reason it doesn’t seem to be getting the same publicity as Dropbox, Google Drive, and SkyDrive. And we have never gotten a single request to incorporate sugarsync so we didn’t look into it.

      Regards,
      Lance

  • Andy says:

    Maybe i’m not getting the point, but couldn’t you (at least for wp blogs) just implement access to the dropbox from within the app? Then one could choose what one want’s to implement and just upload it to the media folder for example.
    From there implementation in the post would be possible again…

    Best
    Andy

    • Lance says:

      Hello Andy,

      Thank for joining in on the conversation.

      Yes, we could put Dropbox or the others into Blogsy in kind of the way you are suggesting. And we talked about that. Basically you would see it when you tap on the iPad photo library icon in the dock. But this has a couple of problems which made us decide not to do it.

      1) We would have to use the iPad photo library as an intermediary. So, you could not drag directly from Dropbox to an envelope. The images would first have to be saved (from within Blogsy) to the iPad photo library then uploaded to the location of your choice. We think this is confusing to users and doesn’t add anything special that the official Dropbox app doesn’t already do.

      2) A vast majority of users will not understand why they can’t just drag directly from Dropbox and embed the image into their post. This means they will give poor reviews in the App Store. Unfortunately the App Store reviews and ratings are what makes an app financially feasible or not so developers have to think about things like this. Proportionally few happy users take the time to leave a review but most unhappy users find the time to leave a review.

      Cheers,
      Lance

      • I don’t understand why it wouldn’t work like the current photo library icon. Put a Dropbox icon in the dock, when you tap it, it gives your Dropbox directory structure and the envelopes for the services to use. You would then drag it out of the Dropbox onto whatever service you want to use to store them. Exactly like how the current Photo library works.

        Or, to make it even easier, let the user select one service for the default uploads. Then when they drag a picture from the Photo library or Dropbox, Blogsy automatically uploads the picture and sets the URL to the uploaded picture service. That would be a lot nicer and more user friendly than the current convoluted way.

        • Lance says:

          Hello Ryan,

          Thank you for the comment.

          I am not sure if you are aware but the iPad is not an open system. We have to use the iOS SDK so there are limits on what we can do. What you are asking for is not possible given these limits.

          Regards,
          Lance

          • Ryan Collins says:

            Maybe I’m not understanding the issue. You use the Dropbox API to list the contents of the Dropbox, the user selects and downloads a picture into memory. You then upload that picture to the hosting service that the user has selected. It shouldn’t be much different than the current workflow, except that you’re getting the picture from Dropbox instead of the Photo Library.

            Even if you can’t get Dropbox integration working, you should be able to have the user select a default media hosting service, and let them drag directly from the Photo library to a blog post, which will automatically upload the picture. Right now its confusing and cumbersome to have to select the service each time and press the Tap to Upload button.

            I like the app a lot, it’s just that picture handling is tedious.

          • Lance says:

            1) The images in your Photo Library are on you iPad and the images in Dropbox are on the net. This is quite different.

            2) In order for Blogsy to provide WYSIWYG formatting we use the web view on the Rich Side. This means that the image URL is needed to be able to display it. We are still working on trying to figure out a way around this.

  • Scott says:

    Dropbox now has the ability to get a public URL to any file in any folder, regardless of if the person is logged into DropBox or even if they have an account with DropBox.

    https://www.dropbox.com/help/167

    Not sure if this will affect your decision regarding DropBox in the future, but it is worth a mention.

    Great app, btw. I use Blogsy regularly and love it.

    • Lance says:

      Hello Scott,

      Thank you for joining in on the conversation.

      The problem is that they do not provide that public URL through the API. For us to be able to add Dropbox to Blogsy they have to provide that public URL through the API.

      Thanks for you nice words about Blogsy!

      Happy Blogging,
      Lance

  • I think we are looking at the use of dropbox et al differently. The way other apps are using dropbox is differently than what you are talking about. Here are my user stories to help frame the functionality I’m looking for:

    Open/Edit/Save to and from Dropbox:
    As a Blogsy user that often works on blog content on my laptop, I would like to be able to use dropbox to save/open/edit/re-save draft versions of blog entries so that I can edit a draft on my laptop. (I’m assuming that your blogsy format is XML.)

    Browse remote directory/locally cache files I choose to download/add those files to blogsy drafts:
    As a Blogsy user that often creates images/diagrams in another app on the iPad/Mac/PC and saves them to dropbox, I would like the ability to navigate through my dropbox folder to the directory where my image is, view a preview, and then drag that file into place into my blogsy draft by locally caching that file in iPad so that I don’ t have to publically expose the image to the public before the bog is published.

    Once the draft is published to my blog, as a blogsy user, I would like the local cache of dropbox file flushed empty for any published blog entries to keep the memory usage of blogsy to a minimum so that my iPad doesn’t fill up with files no longer needed.

    Does this help?

    Devin.

    • Lance says:

      Hello Devin,

      Thank you for joining in on the conversation. I am sure this is not the kind of answer you are looking for but I’d rather be honest than give some pacifying marketing response.

      Open/Edit/Save to and from Dropbox:
      As a Blogsy user that often works on blog content on my laptop, I would like to be able to use dropbox to save/open/edit/re-save draft versions of blog entries so that I can edit a draft on my laptop. (I’m assuming that your blogsy format is XML.)

      No, the Blogsy format is not XML but that doesn’t really matter anyway. We will not be adding this functionality because there isn’t enough demand to justify the investment of time. Unfortunately, because of the way the App Store works as apposed to desktop software we have to look at things this way. This ability is also easily accomplished by saving the file as a draft to your blog then you can open it on any device with any blogging software or in the WP-admin.

      Browse remote directory/locally cache files I choose to download/add those files to blogsy drafts:
      As a Blogsy user that often creates images/diagrams in another app on the iPad/Mac/PC and saves them to dropbox, I would like the ability to navigate through my dropbox folder to the directory where my image is, view a preview, and then drag that file into place into my blogsy draft by locally caching that file in iPad so that I don’ t have to publically expose the image to the public before the bog is published.

      As I mentioned in this post, we are not able to fetch the URL to embed those images into your post. The solution would be to use the Dropbox app to save them to your iPad photo library then you can upload them to your desired location and use them in your post.

      Thanks again for your comment.

      Regards,
      Lance

  • Henry says:

    What about adapting „Evernote“. They do have an API and they do handle with URL’s, as far as I know.

    • Lance says:

      Hello Henry,

      Thank you for the comment. I don’t think people use Evernote as a place to store their images permanently. If you want to embed an image into a blog post then the URL can never change or it will get deleted from your blog post.

  • Derek says:

    Im also traveling andhavingthe same problem with Blogsy quitting intermittently:
    – While off line and writing the post / importing from my photo library
    – while posting

    • Lance says:

      Hello Derek,

      Thank you for the comment. Sorry to hear you are having this problem.

      I am not sure what you are referring to when you say “I am also traveling and having the same problem”. We have only had a few people report random crashing problem and all of them that have gotten back to us have let us know that a complete delete an reinstall of Blogsy solved their problem. It seems like they got a bad update/install.

      So can you please completely delete Blogsy from your iPad (save any local drafts as online drafts or to the Notes app first) then go to the App Store and download it again.

      If you continue to have a crashing problem after doing this please email us at info(at)fomola(dot)com so we can get to the bottom of this.

      Thanks,
      Lance

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