Cloud storage is everywhere these days. Jump in the App Store and do a quick search for “cloud storage” and you’re presented with what seems to be an endless amount of applications you can download. There are obvious favorites we’ve all heard of, iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, just to name a few. When it comes to backing up your photos, it can be hard to imagine paying a monthly or yearly service fee, until it’s too late and all your photos are lost…forever. There are a couple options out there for you to take advantage of today for little to no money at all.
Two cloud storage services you can download and start using right now are Google Photos and Amazon Photos. Not sure which one is better? Let us bring you up to speed so you can start using one, or both, of them today. You’ll be surprised at just how powerful each of them are.
The great thing about Google Photos is how it quickly backups, organizes, and lets you search the photos you’ve uploaded from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Easily search through backed up photos based on location, people, and things. By taping the search icon you’re able to see many different options are available based on information gathered from the photos backed up to your cloud account. Photos synced are scanned for metadata and any other information it can pull from the photos to help recognize items you might search for at a later date. Google will also use this information they’ve collected to present you ads too—nothing in life is truly free, right? It’s a trade-off, you get free photo storage space and they get information on what you’re taking pictures of so they can sell ads.
Google Photos even recognizes faces so you can quickly find photos of family and friends. This is a great feature to have if you’re looking for a specific photo featuring a specific person.
Worried about paying monthly storage fees? Well stop! You’ll enjoy unlimited storage space for your photos and videos so long as you allow Google Photos to optimize your uploads. This means shrinking the file size which will slightly reduces their overall quality. Access to your photos is available from any device with the Google Photos app or by visiting http://photos.google.com where you’ll login with your Google ID. All your photos are safe, secure, and private.
Want a photo back on your device after you delete it? Open the app, find the picture you want and tap on the share buttons where there’s an option to save the photo to your device.
A fun feature you’ll enjoy with Google Photos is photo assistant. This little helper will let you see how many photos are being backed up and will also alert you to any creations Google Photos has made from your photos and videos. Google Photos will automatically create movies, collages, animations, panorama, and more from your synced photos. It’s a great way to enjoy your photos on a deeper level without having to take the time making these creations.
If you’re running out of space on your iOS device, deleting photos is an easy way to quickly reclaim storage space on your device. Google Photos lets you delete those photos you’ve uploaded by simply going into the app settings and tapping the “FREE UP SPACE” button. You still need to open the native Photos app on your device and clear them from the Recently Deleted album before the space is available, otherwise they’re automatically deleted after 30 days.
Do you enjoy editing your pictures? Google Photos lets you edit your uploaded photos right in the application. If you like sharing photos on social media accounts, you can edit them in the application and share them on Facebook or Twitter. Photos are pushed to your social media account without saving them back on your device. This is a great way to save space while still being social.
Creating albums is a breeze with Google Photos too. Thanks to the tagging and smart search performed on your uploaded photos, you’re able to easily search through photos you took while in Disney World to create a vacation album. When you’re all done editing and adding photos to an album, quickly share them with friends and family members. Just like I mentioned before, you can also share albums on Twitter and Facebook too. Google Photos also lets you invite other members to view photos in albums and add some of their own. This is a great feature if you would like to have some of the pictures your friends and family members captured.
Google Photos is an amazingly powerful application for backing up your photos quickly and easily. It’s so simple anyone could do it. It comes with a downside though, which could be huge for some of you. Essentially you’re sharing a lot of information about yourself with Google. How will it be used? Google collects data to use so they can show you ads. This means they make a profit off knowing exactly what you’re taking pictures of. You must also have a Google account and your photos will need to be optimized to receive unlimited storage. If you prefer to retain full image quality you’ll incur a monthly fee depending upon the storage size selected. There are different storage options available starting at 100GB ($1.99 per month), 1TB ($9.99 per month), 10TB (99.99 per month), 20 TB ($199.99 per month), and 30TB ($299.99 per month).
If you already enjoy using Amazon, you might enjoy their services a little bit more. Their cloud storage for photos and videos is good, but there’s definite room for improvement.
With the Amazon Photos app, all your photos and videos are safely and securely stored in the cloud where they’re easily accessible if your device is lost, stolen, damaged, or when you upgrade to a new device. Don’t stress if you forget to backup your device and your iPhone is damaged beyond repair. With your photos and videos stored in the cloud you don’t need to worry about losing most of your media ever again.
Did you catch that, most of your media? If you’re an Amazon Prime member you get unlimited photo storage included as part of your membership. Video storage is limited to just 5GB. Unlike Google Photos, Amazon Photos doesn’t optimize your photos or videos when they’re uploaded to their cloud storage. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member you can have this storage option for only $11.99 per year after a free 3 month trial period.
If you need more storage space for videos there’s an Unlimited Everything option available for only $59.99 per year (which is $4.99 a month) after a free 3 month trial period.
Amazon Photos doesn’t have a search option to look through your photos though, which is a huge let down. There are times when you know what photo you’re looking for but you can’t remember exactly when the photo was taken. Although photos are stored according to the month they were taken, if you can’t recall when you took it, it’s going to be a challenge trying to find it. Search options for photos would be welcomed with open arms.
Sharing your photos from the cloud is a breeze thanks to the different options available in app. When you access your photos via browser instead of the app, you’re still able to share your photos on social media accounts which is great.
You don’t have the ability to edit your photos though, so if you want to make changes they’ll need to be done before they’re synced or you must save them on your device to make changes.
Amazon Photos allows you to create albums you can share too. Create and name your albums and add photos from your synced photos. When you’re done you can easily share them on Twitter, Facebook, or email from within the application.
Amazon Photos auto saves your photos when you’re connected to WiFi, so you don’t have to worry about doing a thing. Unfortunately there isn’t a feature which lets you delete photos from your device once they’re added to the cloud. Instead, you’ll have to wait until all your photos are saved and then delete photos from your camera roll. This is another feature I would love to see available to users.
To be completely honest, I was excited to see Amazon introduce their own cloud storage application for storing photos and videos. Now that I’ve been able to use it for a few months I feel there’s a few major features that need to be added. First, if you’re going to limit video storage space, why not offer an option where videos can be optimized and then offer unlimited storage? Second, why can’t we search through our uploaded photos via search filters? Amazon lets you search through their marketplace with tons of search options, so why can’t we enjoy limited search options with our synced photos? Lastly, you must add an option where users can quickly delete photos from their device once they’ve been added to their cloud account. One of the main reasons we reach for cloud storage is to back up items which frees up space on our devices, so give us the ability to quickly free up space.