API

Filestack Launches File Picker V3

- March 1, 2017


Now with a minimalistic design, in-app image transformations, and faster file uploading API. 

File uploader initial view

Today, we are proud to launch the newest version of our File Picker.  The result of months of user research and beta testing, the File Picker V3, a more powerful uploading API and new features to create the ultimate file uploading experience for your application.

The Highlights 😎

With so much new coming to Filestack, here is a summary of major new features:

  • Resumable file uploads with progress bars for individual files so your users know exactly how fast their files are uploading. 
  • Accelerated uploads to streamline uploads of any size and get content published quicker for end users.
  • Direct to S3 uploading to send sensitive data directly to your S3 buckets without having to pass through any Filestack infrastructure
  • Minimalistic design to blend seamlessly into any website or mobile app.
  • JavaScript Library which enables complete customization of the file picker.
  • Transformation UI to crop, rotate, border, and filter images within the dialog window.
  • Image tagging and explicit content detection API, powered by Google Vision. Easily categorize, search, and manage your assets in the cloud.  
  • A new unlimited plan for $4,999 removes upload caps, offers unlimited standard transformations, and provides plenty of bandwidth to let you rest easy

1. Stronger Uploading API for Desktop and Mobile 💪

Our engineers have revamped Filestack’s uploading API to be one of the fastest and most reliable technologies out there, with upload speeds measuring up to 50% faster than before. The new uploading API is a lifesaver on mobile devices, where spotty internet connections and timeouts are frequent and painful.  To accelerate uploads, we have implemented the following techniques:

  1. Chunking files and uploading them in parallel, speeding up the upload dramatically and reducing any risk of timeouts.  
  2. Automatically retrying failed uploads so a spotty mobile internet connection will only momentarily delay an upload.
  3. Sending files to the nearest AWS datacenters without passing through any other infrastructure, reducing the distance files need to travel before they can be viewed on other devices.  
  4. Allowing users to upload files directly to their own S3 bucket when they choose to, further reducing the distance a file has to travel.

The combination of these innovations creates a fast and reliable upload experience for users.  As you know, yesterday AWS had an S3 outage.  However, our new picker in beta was still working thanks to regional uploads and CDN caching.

Mobile File Picker V3 Interface
Mobile File Picker V3 Interface

2. Streamlined User Interface Design

Filestack’s File Picker V3 ensures a seamless experience for our developers and end-users. The design is minimalistic to integrate natively with your application. Within the file uploader, users are able to upload whole folders, see a count of selected files, edit images within the dialog window, and easily navigate to alter and edit their selection.

Entire Folder Uploads and Badge Count
Entire Folder Uploads and Badge Count

Additionally, we are providing a JavaScript library for you to completely customize the file uploader per your style guide.  The new library includes a newly designed, much more flexible SDK to improve your overall developer experience. There are a number of new configuration options and callbacks that allow developers to control, monitor and analyze the entire file uploading process. Although Filestack’s File Picker V2 allowed for modest style modifications, the File Picker V3 provides multiple ways to customize the File Picker, from overriding classes within CSS files, to loading custom CSS files, to building your own UI crafted to your needs.

3. In-App Transformation UI 🛠

Users will be able to apply image transformations to resize and filter images directly within the dialog window to ensure only the perfect image is uploaded.  As we continue to develop features, we strive to empower you to offer Instagram-like functionality in your application.

Transformation UI within Dialog Window
Transformation UI within Dialog Window

4. Machine learning-based content tagging and explicit content detection 🙅

filestack explicit content detection API

We’re really excited about this next feature.  We’ve added image tagging and explicit content detection to the Transformation Engine API.  You will now be able to mark certain images as unsafe before they are displayed, to ensure quality of content on your application.

Here are 2 examples of how a developer would pass these tasks to Filestack and example output.  The /security and /signature parameters in the snippets prevent other users from abusing a users API key.   While this API is part of the Transformation engine, a developer does not have to apply transformations to their images.  So in practice, the image tagging and explicit content detection can be used standalone.
Transformation URL example for tag task:

https://cdn.filestackcontent.com/security=policy:eyJoYW5kbGUiOiJ1Q2FmTmxscFNBU2VkZlVCdDNiZCIsImV4cGlyeSI6MTU5ODE0MTUwNCwiY2FsbCI6WyJyZWFkIiwic3RhdCIsImNvbnZlcnQiXX0=,signature:2177099fa0fe5fa6c2f2c97aca096003b6b4580b533b4f70b6dcd90dc2f242d9/tags/uCafNllpSASedfUBt3bd
Output: {"tags":{"auto":{"accipitriformes":58,"beak":90,"bird":97,"bird of prey":95,"fauna":84,"great grey owl":89,"hawk":66,"owl":97,"vertebrate":92,"wildlife":81},"user":null}}

Transformation URL example for explicit content detection task:

https://cdn.filestackcontent.com/security=policy:eyJoYW5kbGUiOiJ1Q2FmTmxscFNBU2VkZlVCdDNiZCIsImV4cGlyeSI6MTU5ODE0MTUwNCwiY2FsbCI6WyJyZWFkIiwic3RhdCIsImNvbnZlcnQiXX0=,signature:2177099fa0fe5fa6c2f2c97aca096003b6b4580b533b4f70b6dcd90dc2f242d9/sfw/uCafNllpSASedfUBt3bd

Output:

{"sfw":true}

Why is this important? Many of our customers are in industries like EdTech and they accept image uploads from their users who might be students, teachers and parents.  With Filestack, they can have a single workflow to upload images, filter for inappropriate content, transform the images (crop, compress, etc) and serve the image via CDN if the content tags pass.

5. New Unlimited Plan 🚀

For the first time, we are offering an Unlimited Plan that removes the image upload cap for users uploading files directly to their own AWS S3 account. The $4999 plan includes unlimited standard image and document transformations like cut, crop, resize, responsive images and convert to .doc and .pdf. Scale your usage without scaling your monthly fee, for less than the cost of a developer. Contact us at sales@filestack.com.

More coming soon!

We are continuing to evolve our products and libraries (see our Github for latest updates). Do you have more questions or suggestions for Filestack’s roadmap? Please reach out to us directly at feedback@filestack.com and or ping us on Twitter @filestack. We ❤ your input.