Quick Guide to Storing Photos Online: Google v Flickr v Apple iCloud Review


Guide to Storing Photos Online

For average users, the smartphone became our go-to photo camera. Thanks to advances in technology, our phone cameras can now deliver high quality images at the push of a button. There’s no more need to carry heavy photo equipment around unless you’re a professional photographer, and the convenience of having a camera in your pocket can’t be denied. But where can you store your snaps to make sure their safe? We have a few suggestions.

Photos taken with mobile cameras are easy to edit and share. There are hundreds of editing apps available in the App Store or Google Play, and social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram make sharing and swapping photos easier than ever. Facebook even launched Moments not long ago, a handy apps that lets you send photos to friends whenever you take a pic together. Plus, the quality is pretty great, since the latest smartphones come equipped with highly performant cameras.

When it comes to storing your snaps, however, things get a bit trickier. You likely take tens of shots per day you’re not keen on sharing with everyone, but still want to keep for yourself. Since transferring them to your laptop on a regular basis can be hassle, the quickest way to take care of this is backing them up via a cloud base service. That way, your photos will be automatically uploaded to the cloud whenever you’re connected to the internet. In case you upgrade your device or lose it, you will still be able to access your pics. You can re-download them using another phone, tablet or computer.

There are quite a few options for photo storing services available. Here’s a quick look at the most popular apps on the market.

Note: Even if you backup your photos via a cloud storage service, you still run the risk of losing access to them if the company you choose shuts down. That’s very unlikely to happen, especially if we’re talking about the services on our list, but you know what they say – better safe than sorry. Make sure you backup your pics on your laptop or on an external drive at least twice per year.

Apple iCloud

Apple iCloud
The iCloud Photo Library, part of the larger iCloud storage service, is accessible to iPhone and iPad users. The service automatically backs up every video or photo you take with your mobile camera, so you can easily access them from other Apple devices connected to the internet or via web at iCloud.com. All you need to use the service is the latest iOS version and an Apple ID. The service only gives you 5GB of storage for free. Of course, you can upgrade to up to 1000GB if you’re willing to pay an extra fee.

The great thing about the iCloud Photo Library is that it organizes all of your pictures and videos by date, time and location, so keeping track of your snaps is a breeze. Moreover, you can manually organize your photos into albums; even better, the service also offers shared albums, here multiple people can share photos in one space. That’s a pretty cool feature, especially if we’re talking about collecting photos from an event.

Google Photos

Google Photos
A great alternative to the iCloud Photo Library, this time for Android users. Google offers both a website and an app (available also on iOS) to backup, edit, and organize your best shots. Every snap and video will be automatically uploaded via Wi-Fi, and you can also drag and drop pics from your PC on the photos.google.com site to create a back-up.

A great thing about the service – it allows you to edit your pics to enhance them or stitch them together to create panoramas or GIFs. It also does some of this on its own, giving you suggestions on how to best take advantage of these effects. Plus, Google Photos uses Stories, a feature that creates interactive albums for special events – your photos are organized by day, including maps and location pins.

Google Photos is free if you have a Google account (and in this day and age, who doesn’t?). You get 15GB of space, with the option to purchase more if necessary.

There’s only one catch: Google will compress photos that are larger than 16 megapixels and videos with a higher resolution than 1080p.

Flickr

Flickr
Here’s the best thing about Flickr – you get 1TB of space for free. One of the biggest names in photo storage, Flickr has evolved remarkably in recent years, offering users a new layout and additional features that might come in handy. Basic organising includes grouping photos in albums and collections, but you can also try more advanced features like geotagging, social sharing, commenting, and so on. The web version also offers editing tools.

The Flickr mobile app comes with Auto-Uploadr, so it automatically uploads every photo and video you capture on your smartphone. Plus, it will upload older snaps as well upon installation. You can upload and download images in their full original resolution.

Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon Cloud Drive
Amazon’s Cloud Drive gives users access to a web site, a desktop app and a mobile app (available for iOS and Android devices – Amazon Photo) to backup and organize media files. The mobile app performs automatic upload of all photos and videos taken on the device, including older ones. You get 5GB of storage, space that can be used for any type of file (not only photos), but you can increase this if you pay an additional fee. However, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get unlimited photo storage for free. Yay!

Amazon also offers basic editing features for pics. Besides this, there are no unnecessary features to navigate. The gist is simple: store/organize photos and access them from any device with an Internet connection. Amazon organizes photos chronologically by default, but you can choose to put them into albums for easy access as well.

Dropbox

Dropbox
Dropbox can be used to backup any kind of file, including, of course, photos. The mobile app has an entire section dedicated to storing and organizing snaps. Once uploaded, you can share photos in various ways (email, WhatsApp and so on) or re-download them on a different device. The service also comes with an automatic upload feature, so you can move all photos and videos to the Dropbox’s Camera Uploads folder. However, there are no editing tools available. You get 2GB of free space, but you can upgrade by paying a fee.

Photobucket

Photobucket
Photobucket is a pretty popular service, but it’s mainly used for sharing photos, not necessarily storing them. However, it’s great if you’re looking to share pics via blogs or social networks. The service automatically generates URLs for sharing and embedding pics. It comes with auto backup, so it keeps your photos safe and organized by backing up photos the instant you take them. By downloading the mobile app, you can have access to 10GB of storage. You also get a photo editor, GIF maker, and print shop, where you can buy high-quality customizable prints and photo gifts.

Note: By default, these services will backup photos via Wi-Fi. You can choose to backup via mobile data as well by accessing the Setting menu for each app.

Which service are you using? What are its pros and cons? Share your thoughts in the comments. Also, don’t forget to compare mobile plans to make sure you get the best deals available!

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