Uploading images to Dropbox from the Phimpme App

The Phimpme Android application along with the camera, gallery and image editing features offers the option to upload images to many social media and cloud storages without having to install several other applications. As we can see from the screenshot below, Phimpme application contains a user-friendly accounts screen to connect to the accounts using a username and password so that we can upload photos from the share screen to that particular account later on.

One such famous cloud storage is the Dropbox and in this tutorial, I am explaining how I implemented the account authentication and image uploading feature to Dropbox in the Phimpme Android application.

Step 1

The first thing we need to do is to create an application in the Dropbox application console and to get the app key and the API secret key which we will require later on for the authentication purposes. To create an application on the Dropbox application console page,

  1. Go to this link. It will open a page as depicted in the screenshot below:
  2. Now click on the Dropbox API option.
  3. Click on App folder – access to a single folder created specifically for your app.
  4. Write the name of your application and press the create app button.

After this, we will be redirected to the page which will contain all the keys required to authenticate and upload photos.

Step 2

After getting the keys, the next thing we need to do is install the Dropbox SDK. To do this:

  1. Download the Android SDK from this link and extract it.
  2. Copy the dropbox-android-sdk-1.6.3.jar and json_simple-1.1.jar file to the libs folder.
  3. Click on the add as library button by right clicking on the jar files added.
  4. Copy the below-mentioned code in the AndroidManifest.xml file which defines the dropbox login activity within a new activity tag.
android:name="com.dropbox.client2.android.AuthActivity"
android:launchMode="singleTask"
android:theme="@android:style/Theme.Translucent.NoTitleBar"
android:configChanges="orientation|keyboard">
<intent-filter>
     <!-- Change this to be db- followed by your app key -->
         <data android:scheme="db-app_key" />
         <action android:name="android.intent.action.VIEW" />
         <category android:name="android.intent.category.BROWSABLE"/>
         <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
</intent-filter>

In the 7th line of the code snippet, replace the app_key with the key you received from following the step 1.

Step 3

After setting up everything, we need to extract the access token for the user to upload the photos in that particular account. To do this, we can make use of the below code snippet, which uses the dropbox SDK we installed in step 2 to create an object named mDBApi and initialises it to authenticate the user.

private DropboxAPI<AndroidAuthSession> mDBApi;AppKeyPair appKeys = new AppKeyPair(APP_KEY, APP_SECRET);
AndroidAuthSession session = new AndroidAuthSession(appKeys);
mDBApi = new DropboxAPI<AndroidAuthSession>(session);

After initialisation in the onCreate method of the activity, we can authenticate the user using the following line of code.

mDBApi.getSession().startOAuth2Authentication(MyActivity.this);

This will open up a window where the user will be prompted to login to their dropbox account. After the login is finished, we will be taken back to the activity which made the authentication call, so in the onResume method, we need to get the access token of the user which will be used later on to upload the images using the following code snippet provided below:

mDBApi.getSession().finishAuthentication();
String accessToken = mDBApi.getSession().getOAuth2AccessToken();

After we have stored the access token, we can upload the selected image to the Dropbox using the following line of code.

File file = new File("working-draft.jpg");
FileInputStream inputStream = new FileInputStream(file);
Entry response = mDBApi.putFile("/magnum-opus.jpg", inputStream,
                              file.length(), null, null);

For more information on uploading and retrieving data from the Dropbox account, you can go to the dropbox developer guide and for working example refer to the Phimpme Android repository in the resources below.

Resources

  1. Phimpme Repo : Phimpme Android github repository.
  2. Dropbox official documentation : https://www.dropbox.com/developers-v1/core/start/android
  3. Dropbox application console : https://www.dropbox.com/developers/apps
  4. Stackoverflow example to upload image on Dropbox : https://stackoverflow.com/questions/10827371/upload-photo-to-dropbox-by-android