Save Smart Phone Photos from Disaster
For anyone who's nervous about losing photos from a smart phone — and who isn't — the folks at Dropbox have a new solution: automatic upload of your images into your Dropbox folder. Dropbox, if you're not familiar with it, is an online storage locker for your files. You sign up for an account (free for 2 GB up to $19.99/month for 100GB) and you get access to a personal Dropbox folder on which you can store your digital data.
A popular way to use Dropbox is as a hand-off area for project files. Upload project files, give colleagues your locker combination, and they can download what they need to work on, critique, verify, and so on. You can also use it as back up for essential files and critical data. If your system goes down, you know copies exist. What many people find most alluring about Dropbox and other cloud-based storage systems is that you can access it anywhere. No need to haul around hard disks, recordable discs, flash drives, or any media storage devices of that ilk. As long as you've got an internet connection, you have access to your stuff. Dropbox apps also allow you to view and upload files from mobile devices the iPhone, iPad, and Android operating systems.
The ability to upload files from anywhere is what's behind the Dropbox photo service. The Dropbox app lets users upload original-size, full-resolution photos and videos to the Dropbox cloud with a single button click on their smart phones. Next time you take a series of incredible, once-in-a-lifetime photos, they'll be uploaded immediately, thus staving off the misery you'll feel when your phone is stepped on by an elephant at the zoo.
Photo files are stored in a subfolder called Camera Uploads in your Dropbox directory where ether can be shared with friends, families and so on. Simple sharing is where Dropbox competes with sites like Flickr and Google, although the latter has Picasa for online image editing while Dropbox is for file sharing only.
Dropbox says that its desktop application will offer the same service for digital cameras as well as smart phones and tablets. Connect your camera or card reader to your desktop computer and Dropbox uploads photos and video automatically.
Users of the photo service will be allotted an extra 500MB of Dropbox space after they perform their first upload, eventually increasing photo storage to an additional free 3GB.