Never lose your smartphone photos, enable a free auto-upload service

Never lose your smartphone photos, enable a free auto-upload service

Summary: It used to be quite a chore to find, backup, and share your camera phone photos, but today there are clients that make the process automatic so you should never lose any photos taken with your smartphone. There are multiple free solutions so get at least one installed and setup on your smartphone today.

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Never lose your smartphone photos, enable a free auto-upload service

In the past it was a chore to get your photos off of your phone and moved to some location where you could do something with them. Phones in the past also often captured terrible quality photos so it was probably better you couldn't access those photos. Current smartphones can take incredible photos and many people, including me, don't even carry a point-and-shoot camera. Thankfully, there are a number of applications and services that allow you to sync, backup, store, and share your photos with many even doing this for you automatically. You should never lose photos you take with your smartphone if you use one of these services.

There are services supported closely by the mobile operating systems, cross-platform cloud services, and many 3rd party utilities. Apple encourages use of iCloud, Android encourages Google+, and Windows Phone encourages use of SkyDrive for smartphone owners running these platforms. These are solid tools and you can even find Google+ and SkyDrive on other platforms. In addition to these more official tools, you can also try out the following:

  • Dropbox: Dropbox is one of my favorite tools for backing up photos and with HTC offering some massive free storage options with a device purchase I have loads of storage for my photos and videos. I have this application loaded on many devices to backup photos automatically.
  • SugarSync: SugarSync is similar to Dropbox, but gives me a bit better control of what is synced to the cloud. I have the latest 2.0 betaon my Android devices and use it to backup my photos on iOS too.
  • Amazon Cloud Drive Photos: The Amazon Cloud Drive Photos appis an application for Android smartphones that lets you automatically upload photos (new in version 1.2) to your Amazon Cloud Drive account. You can capture photos from within the application, control what photos are synced, and manage storage notifications.
  • Box: Another cloud service that also has mobile clients that support photo upload and backup is Box. They have Android, iOS, and Windows Phone apps with the fairly typical 5GB of free space available.
  • Facebook: I am personally about ready to drop Facebook and primarily only find value in it through the photos shared by family and friends. They now have automatic photo syncing functionality in their mobile client so Facebook offers another venue to backup photos. Then again, photos and videos get downsized and mostly look like junk on Facebook so I may still just drop the service and stick with full resolution solutions.

Photo specific services, such as Flickr, Instagram, and others, do not traditionally have automatic photo upload capability and these are targeted to the sharing of photos. I would actually like it if I could backup all my photos to Flickr and just keep them private, similar to how it works on Google+ and SkyDrive. Given that Flickr is photo specific that seems to make more sense than using a more general backup/cloud service.

I was paranoid about losing my photos before as I tried to get them onto external storage, then moved to my computer, and then backed up. I now have multiple clients setup on my phones to automatically backup my photos (all set to WiFi only syncing) so now the real issue is having to visit each cloud service to share and archive my photos. I can't seem to just pick one service so just let my smartphone take care of photo backup itself. Make sure to install at least one of these services and enable the auto-upload option to have peace of mind when taking photos with your smartphone.

Topics: Mobility, Android, iPhone, Smartphones, Windows Phone

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6 comments
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  • and if you are using Windows Phone

    you could easily upload the pictures to SkyDrive and Facebook like you said.

    In fact uploading to SkyDrive and Facebook is smooth and painless. With iPhone you have iCloud Stream too.
    Ram U
    • ...........

      I have a windows phone and skydrive is good for this, but I just tried to set it up on an android, Microsoft have neglected the android app, can't even auto upload. Having to transfer to computer shouldn't have to be an option. Back to dropbox it is.
      MikeTheYid
  • Most of those services are re-compressing your images ...

    ... so what you have is a much lower quality "back-up" of your photos.

    Good enough for people who are also satisfied with MP3's (or any other lossy compression audio), but we all really should have higher standards.
    Schoolboy Bob
    • Yup

      That used to be the problem with Windows Phone.
      Now you can auto-sync your phone pictures to SkyDrive at full resolution when you are connected to WiFi.
      WillThePoet
  • Where's Google+?

    Google+ can automatically upload your photos - at least on Android. I'm not on iOS, so I can't talk about that side of things.
    sjdorst
  • Ubuntu One

    I just installed it because I use Ubuntu and I though why not. I simply set the auto-upload WiFi-only and forgot about it. A few weeks ago my phone stopped working. I checked it out daring against hope, was a little surprised to find all my photos stored there, including the folders. My little problem is that they don't use thumbnails so that you can't tell apart your files while online readily yet, but the fact that your images are there is a relief.
    JOB83