One of the most used features in our smartphones these days is the camera, but most users don’t know how to manage all those photos even though they tend to take pictures. There is nothing more convenient than taking a photo and automatically backing it up to the cloud. Here’s exactly how to do it.
There are many options available for Android users and we’ll mention a few, but the biggest is Google’s own option. The Google+ mobile app automatically backs up your photos via a feature called Google+ Auto Backup or, if enabled, Quick Upload. This feature is available in the Google+ Android and iOS mobile apps. It saves a copy of your photos privately in Google’s cloud services and is available only to you if you want to access them.
All of these photos are saved privately and no one else has access to it but you. Second, most Android users have a Google+ account to use YouTube or leave comments on the Play Store, so no setup or registration is required. While reviewing my Google+ Photos instant upload feed, I found a great photo that I lost 3-4 years ago, and it was great that Google saves full resolution copies for free.
Google+ Fast Upload costs nothing, allows for 1TB of photos (1,000GB) so you’ll probably never run out of space. This is a much better solution for all Galaxy S4 owners using 16GB of internal storage. Every time you take a photo, Google+ automatically backs up the photo without prompting the user. Once you activate it, you’re ready. Below are the simple steps for you to do the same.
Google+ Auto Backup for Photos and Videos
Most phones come with Google+ pre-installed (Google’s social network), so all you have to do is sign in and go to settings. Start by finding the red G+ icon in your app tray and opening Google+. From here you will touch the menu and settings or the 3-dot settings button and on the top right you will see Auto Backup, select it.
Enable Auto Backup for the Gmail account you want to use by turning on the feature with the blue toggle button at the top and then go to “Backup settings” which is important for smartphone users. Here you can choose whether to back up all photos as you take them, even when on mobile data. For those with a family plan or small data plans shared with a carrier, you’ll only want to back up photos and videos over WiFi.
By default, Google+ only backs up when a WiFi connection is available, as this is usually faster and you don’t incur data charges from your mobile carrier. It’s also a good idea to leave the roaming option unchecked, and for those concerned about battery life, you may prefer to backup only while the phone is charging to conserve battery life.
That’s it, you’re done! Now go back to the main Google+ launch page and swipe to the left screen and tap on photos which will take you to a gallery of your camera roll as well as a featured section of all the photos backed up. It may take some time, especially if you’re like my mom with 8,000 photos, give it some time.
You can access them from any smartphone or tablet with the Google+ app and the web with any browser by going to Google+ from the menu bar at the top of any Google page in Chrome, Firefox and more.
Alternatively, you can delete, share or download these photos whenever you want, so it’s pretty cool. Then of course users can opt for a very similar service using Dropbox, but they only provide users with 5GB of free storage versus 1,000 from Google. Box.net photo backup, Amazon Cloud services, Microsoft Skydrive, and even Flickr offer similar options. All of them can be enabled in settings with almost the same steps and enable photo backup.
For Android users, Google+ Auto Backup is the easiest, simplest and fastest solution without lifting a finger. Not to mention, it comes at no cost to the user.
Should You Use This Feature?
Of course, many users may be concerned about the fact that Google individually backs up every photo you take and saves it in a database, so naturally some will hesitate. You can always disable the feature or delete it from the Auto Backup gallery, but this is again completely optional.
You don’t need to enable automatic backup of photos, but if you do, you’ll never lose photos again if you lose a phone or if a micro SD card fails on that Galaxy S4 or smartphone of choice. It is safe, secure and easy.