Upload iPhone Photos while Multitasking?
September 7, 2010 5:07 PM   Subscribe

iPhone App: I want to upload EVERY photo I take, to Flickr, immediately after being taken. This means that I want the app to upload in the background, REGARDLESS of what I'm doing. I may hit the home button and go on to another app, or I may just throw the phone in my pocket. I want the new spiffy multitasking to work as promised and upload my photos. I want to use this as my main camera app. I use a 3GS, so multitasking does work fine.

I cannot find ANY damned app that will do this. I found BlueCam Pro, which uploads to Flickr automatically, however it is a huge FAIL because it's buggy and stops uploading (and forgets it ever took the photo!) once I hit the home button.

I would also consider switching to Picasa, Photobucket, etc in order to have this feature.

Also, I've found the Photobucket iPhone app however it only supports 'in-app' multitasking instead of true multitasking.

Ideas? Help? Thank you!!
posted by Merlin144 to Technology (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds to me like the kinda thing that would require access to the phone that Apple wouldn't be too happy about. Are you jailbroken?
posted by Biru at 5:10 PM on September 7, 2010

Doesn't the Flickr iPhone app do that? I thought the blurb on the updates page said it did background uploading. You'll have to hit the "upload" button first but then it is safe to close the app.
posted by birdherder at 5:35 PM on September 7, 2010

(also, to save time you'd snap the photo in the Flickr app, not the phone's Photo app)
posted by birdherder at 5:37 PM on September 7, 2010

If you are willing to take photos with something other than Apple's Camera app, this should be possible.

The iOS multitasking API doesn't support full mulitasking or background processes. It only supports a few specific cases and usage scenarios. However, one of this could fit your bill.

When you switch away from an app, the app can take a little bit more time in the background to finish something. For example, it could finish uploading a photo or two. It would probably not be able to finish uploading two hundred photos at 5 megabytes each. But it should be able to finish uploading a few.

Of course, for that to happen the developer who wrote the photo-taking app would need to implement it. It sounds like BlueCam Pro doesn't do that. But it should be possible.
posted by alms at 5:40 PM on September 7, 2010

Is this something you need the app to do? You can also email photos to Flickr.
posted by maryr at 6:07 PM on September 7, 2010

I don't know what kinda of memorystick the iphone could use, but could Eye-Fi be something to look into?
posted by lundman at 6:24 PM on September 7, 2010

I don't know what kinda of memorystick the iphone could use, but could Eye-Fi be something to look into?

iPhones do not have any memory expansion options.
posted by Rendus at 6:36 PM on September 7, 2010

I took this on my phone.

Auto-uploads without you having to think about it.

I use it all the time and rely on it way more than I probably should. I don't think it'll cross-upload to Flickrr, but you said you'd be willing to switch, so I figured I'd throw this out there.
posted by omnipotentq at 8:22 PM on September 7, 2010

omnipotentq: 'I took this on my phone' does upload to flickr. Hadn't heard of it until you, took a look, most excellent reference. Again, metafilter delivers the goods.
posted by eccnineten at 6:55 AM on September 8, 2010

It looks like "I took this on my phone"'s iPhone hasn't been updated in quite some time -- it can't have implemented the background uploading feature, unfortunately. Could be coming, though!
posted by wyzewoman at 7:05 AM on September 8, 2010

I just tested using the flickr app. I opened the app, used the app to take the photo then clicked "use" then clicked "upload" then navigated away and used safari for a bit. the photo uploaded just fine. A fair number more clicks than if using the standard camera app, but it does seem to do what you're asking for.
posted by soplerfo at 9:08 AM on September 8, 2010

Flickr also assigns you an email address to which you may send photos (and even append tags, designate levels of privacy, etcetc) if you like. The phone will email in the background.
posted by nevercalm at 1:13 PM on September 11, 2010

Best answer: Well, it looks like the only true multitasking solutions (finish upload while I'm in another app) are the Photobucket app or the Flickr app. The Flickr app is way too cumbersome for taking a photo, so I think I will stick with BlueCam as it improves. To be clear, I was looking for a completely streamlined workflow with minimal inputs, which eliminates the 'email photos to flickr' solution and ANY app that requires multiple clicks PER PHOTO. Thanks all for the contributions!
posted by Merlin144 at 12:18 PM on October 8, 2010

The Smugmug app works really well, with, if memory serves, only two clicks required; of course only to Smugmug but you did mention preparedness to change?
posted by DrtyBlvd at 6:22 PM on October 13, 2010

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