Many of us are using smartphones and tablets as our primary cameras these days. And, many of you may not even have a computer – finding that the smartphones and tablets meet all your computing needs. But what to do with all those pictures? I know that a lot of you just keep taking pictures until one day, your phone displays a message that it is full and it can’t take any more. Now what?
Even if you do have a computer, you may find that storing your pictures in the cloud is more convenient. If you don’t have a computer, it’s the only way to get them off your phone and into more permanent storage.
Don’t get me wrong. I do have a computer, and I love Picasa – the computer software. I will keep importing the pictures from my phone and tablet to my computer, and using Picasa for organizing, editing, and uploading/sharing them. I just want to recognize that there is another way to do things now, and one future day, it may be the only way.
1. Upload Pictures from devices to the Cloud
The easiest way to do this with Google+ is to install the Google+ App on your phone or tablet, then turn on the option called “Auto Backup.” I wish they had named it “Auto-Upload” instead of Auto Backup because something called “Backup” implies that there is a way to “Restore” your system to how it was when you backed it up. That is not what this does. What Auto Backup does is to notice every photo taken by the camera app on your device (smartphone or tablet, Android or Apple) and automatically upload it to your account in Google+.
After installing the app, find the Settings option and turn Auto Backup on. Then there are options for the size of the uploaded photos and the connection used to upload them.
- Size for uploading: choose between
-Full Size: uploads the fullsize original picture. Use this if you need the original resolution but realize that it will be using up your storage allotment in Google+
-Standard Size: downsizes your photos to no more than 2048 pixels. This is plenty big enough for any viewing on a computer and it enables the unlimited free storage option for Google+
- Connection used for Uploading
-Over Wi-Fi or mobile network: this will use your data plan (mobile network such as Verizon or AT&T) If you have a limited plan, you could incur substantial charges
-Over Wi-Fi only: this will only upload your pictures when your device is connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot. We assume that the Wi-Fi is free
- Delete the photos from your phone or tablet. This is a decision for you to make, but realize if you never delete pictures that you take with your phone or tablet, it will fill up.
2. View the Cloud Pictures from your device
The Google+ App on your phone or tablet will allow you to view all the photos that were uploaded to your account. You can also select pictures to be organized into Albums, so you can then browse pictures by album. As long as you have a data connection on your phone or tablet, you can view all your photos online – no need to have them on your phone.
Every week Geeks on Tour presents a free web-show where we explore features and uses of smartphones and Tablets. Episode #19 will focus on your pictures in the cloud. It will air live this Sunday, November 9 at 2pm Eastern time. If you watch it live, you will be able to leave comments that we will answer on air. If you don’t watch it live, it is recorded as a Youtube video and will be available below. To get the links for watching live or later, see our Geeks on Tour Weekly Show page.