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As of late, Citizen Savvy has been exploring several topics in and around mobile phone photography and video. It got me thinking more about how we manage and store our media. Too often, I find friends and family that really don’t have a strategy here. They end of “trapping” their images on their phone and there is no recent back-up. More than a back-up strategy, we should really employ a mobile phone media management strategy that also gives us the freedom to share our memories easily, and get to our images from any device we might use. I’d argue that it’s the photos that is the most valuable content on your phone. So, why take the risk of not making sure your photos are safe?
While I could also parlay this into an over-arching digital back-up strategy, let’s tackle the low hanging fruit of mobile phone images and video. This can also easily turn into a turf war between an iPhone (iOS) and Android, but I won’t go there either (yet).
I’ll start with the technologies and strategy that I use. I’m an Android user who uses Google Photos as a way to store and share my images and video to the cloud. Google Photos is free to use and so long as you don’t store super high-resolution original images (beyond 16 megapixals), you get the advantage of unlimited storage. Videos do eat into a storage limit. I have it configured to upload all of my mobile phone images to my Google Photos account only when I am connected to Wi-Fi. So, if I am out and about taking pictures, all of my photos will get uploaded once I reconnect to WiFi automatically, without me doing a thing. Another great attribute of Google Photos is that it is platform independent. You can use Google Photos in nearly the identical way on an iPhone just as you do on an Android device. Google is even poking a little fun at Apple with this ad campagin:
The other cloud based option that can be used is of course iCloud. iCloud is for iOS devices only and the first 5GB is free. Over time, 5GB is most likely not going to cut it. So you if you are keen on keeping your digital life in the Apple eco-system, I would recommend upgrading to the $0.99/month 50 GB storage option. $12 bucks a year is a pretty reasonable price to pay for peace-of-mind backup. Sharing photos on iCloud is not as smooth and seamless process as compared to Google Photos, but it’s there. Keep in mind iCloud storage is holding more than just media from your phone. It can also hold the entire back-up of your iOS device, so you are possibly competing for storage space. Keep in mind that if you go the iCloud route, it’s an Apple only technology and will make it that much harder to make any switch down the line. Not impossible, just cumbersome enough to make you think it may not be worth the switching effort.
There are other cloud based options such as Dropbox, Box and Amazon, but these take more of a proactive approach to managing your digital library to the cloud.
The “old-school” method of media back-up is local storage rather than cloud based storage. If you have privacy concerns or you don’t have a desire/need to share photos to friends and family, this is a fine option, but this generally means you have to keep dilligent to backing up your phone to a local computer and then you must also be sure you are backing up your computer. Not something that most people do on a regular basis.
Do you have a different strategy than these options? Comment below!