Everyone has a smartphone or mobile device with a camera on it. Chances are you own an iPhone. Like many others users I would bet you are struggling with the thousands and thousands of photos you have taken on your new device and how to back them up. One slip of the hand and the phone is submerged in the toilet, ran over by a car or lost on the bus. Tragedy can happen at anytime and you need to be comforted that your photos are backed up and still retrievable.
There are options as an iPhone owner to backup your phone, some are easier than others, but Google Photos offers the most robust, flexible solution. First, Google Photos is free. Second, they offer unlimited storage*. The asterisk is because it is unlimited storage with a small caveat. If you allow Google to resize your photos to ‘High Quality’ format then you get unlimited. This option is 100% fine for your phone snapshots. The quality is High, Google doesn’t shrink your photos down to an unusable size for printing or sharing. The alternative is ‘Original’ which allows you to upload the original file which may be a RAW, large JPG, TIFF, etc… This is the option I use only because I do more than snapshot photography and I want to keep the original files.
The Original file option has a 15GB limit on it, which is plenty big, but like always you can expand that storage and purchase more. Occasionally Google will offer a few free extra GB if you try out other services if you choose.
Google Photos has an app that runs on your iPhone and with a few settings you can send every photo you take to Google Photos.
Why should you use this? The easiest answer is to ensure your photos are not only on your phone. Ask yourself this, if you lose your phone or it’s destroyed what would you lose forever? Photos are those memories than cannot be recreated and backing up as part of your daily routine is difficult and once you miss one day it’s months before you remember again. Google Photos, as long as the app stays running, will ensure your photos are copied elsewhere for your use.
Google Photos is also a phone space saver. If you have the smaller size iPhone like the 16GB version you soon realize that it’s not as much space as you think. With your apps and if you take a few photos you are out of space quickly. Google Photos can get your photos off your phone and clean it up as it copies keeping your phone’s storage space under better control.
Lastly with the unlimited storage option this is not just for your phone but for all your photos. There is a fantastic desktop sync agent that will copy all your PC/Mac photos to Google Photos as well for additional backup. Google Photos was built for photos. You can use Dropbox to backup as I posted about before, but that is purely for an archive.
Google Photos will help you take your photos to the max through it’s innovative and clever Assistant mode. I won’t go into details in this post but Google Photos will make you want to use this app, better organize your photos and create photo albums based off events, dates and even subject matter of the photos themselves. Very cool!
First step: Download the app.
Once installed login with your Google account (go sign up for one if you don’t have one.)
Go into Settings and then into Back up & sync. This is where you turn on the backup and sync. I would recommend you do not turn on backing up photos and videos over cellular unless you have an unlimited data plan. Only backup when you are on Wi-Fi, it’s less data and faster uploads.
That’s it. Keep the Google Photos app running in the background on the phone and each photo you take will be sent up.
Use your iPhone, love your iPhone, embrace it…. but don’t completely trust it. It is a piece of hardware and they do fail, it’s just a question of how and when.
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Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.