Dropbox gets serious about digital photos

I’ve written about Dropbox before on Unclutterer and how to use it to keep your digital data more organized and safe. It’s a company that offers web-based or “cloud” storage that is nearly ubiquitous. Now, the company is getting serious about your digital photos and, in my opinion, that is a very good thing.

About Dropbox

Dropbox is a storage service that lets you store files online easily and securely. There’s an app for almost every platform — Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Linux — plus a browser-based web app for data transfer. You can also mark your favorite or other important files for offline access.

By default, you start off with 2 GB of storage for free. A pro level bumps the limit up to 100 GB for $9.99 per month, and a business account gives you as much space as you want for $15 per user (minimum five users). For many home users, the free level is sufficient.

Using Dropbox

The various Dropbox applications work seamlessly with your device’s operating system, so much so that it feels like it’s been there all along. On the Mac and Windows machines, it acts like any other folder on your computer. Move items in and out and the app automatically makes a copy on Dropbox’s remote servers. You can create as many files, folders, and nested folders that your plan can handle. If local storage is an issue, Dropbox has you covered. You can tell the application to back up certain folders and not others. Things are even easier as far as photos are concerned.

Grabbing photos from your smartphone

The Dropbox app for iPhone and Android features an option called “Auto Upload.” Once enabled (it’s set to off by default), it sends a copy of each photo you shoot to the “Photos” folder in your Dropbox account. You can opt to restrict photo upload to when Wi-Fi is available, if you’re concerned about data usage, or just let it run. Either way, the process is totally hands-off, and you can shoot knowing that a backup of every photo you shoot is being made instantly.

How do you view these photos? Well, that’s been the problem. Rooting through a folder of photos is less than ideal since it has been going into an everything bucket, where all the pictures are thrown in a heap. I do not like everything buckets. Fortunately, the company has recently gone all in on photos. As of a few weeks ago, Dropbox sorts your photos and video by creation date. You can even make custom albums, and share them with family and friends.

They’ve also introduced Carousel, a free mobile app for the iPhone and Android. It saves your images in full resolution and sorts them by date and location taken. Your photos are very easy to share and you can start a conversation of comments around an image, similar to how services like Instagram work.

What I like with Dropbox’s changes are the automatic backup and the really convenient Carousel app. Managing and backing up digital photos can be a real bear. Dropbox is working to make it a little bit easier.

5 Comments for “Dropbox gets serious about digital photos”

  1. posted by Mystech on

    I bid DropBox a not-so fond farewell after their recent leadership/stance changes on privacy and security. Using Copy.com which does everything DropBox did for me (including the Camera/Photo sync with my phone). Free accounts start at 15gb, with 5gb bonus using the link below (and for each referral you make).

  2. posted by Rosemary on

    My phone was lost recently when I was on holiday and while I was annoyed, it wasn’t a major catastrophe because I’d been using auto upload from Dropbox. I didn’t lose a single photo. It was so nice to only be irritated, rather than regretful and sad over listing photos. (Also had all my contacts etc backed up in the cloud and it was a very quick restore process to my new phone).

  3. posted by Dave on

    A shiny app wouldnt make me make the switch. I have over 100 gigs worth of photos I have taken over the years that are all stored for free with Google. If you upload them at the 2024px resolution (which Google does for you) it doesn’t count towards your storage. I’d be paying a ridiculous amount each month if I were to use Dropbox.

  4. posted by Steve Spring on

    Thanks for sharing this information about carousel. I have been looking for a good way to automatically backup our iphone photos. I will give this a try.

  5. posted by Dano22 on

    I have noticed, that I think OneDrive (from MS) auto uploads even while the app is in the background of iOS. Not sure DropBox does this–meaning to auto upload, you need to have DropBox open and running. Anyone else test this?

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