Best 2016 IPhone photo backup
January 15, 2016 6:00 AM   Subscribe

Looking for the most reliable and easy to use automatic photo/video backup solution for iPhone. Contenders include Dropbox, Amazon, Flickr, icloud, Google, and probably others. We take tons of photos of the kidlet, and want to ensure they're backed up somewhere between syncing to the computer. Bonus points for a solution that can easily be imported to iPhoto for wife and Lightroom for me.

Ideal if the backups for her and me are separate so that she imports only her photos to iPhoto and I only import mine to Lightroom--though to be clear, the typical import would be via a sync to our computers. In this regard, I note only I have Flickr pro, and we share a Prime account.

posted by Admiral Haddock to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
You could just turn on iCloud Photo Library.
posted by nicwolff at 6:46 AM on January 15, 2016

I've become a big fan of Google Photos for its automation and ease of use. Free unlimited storage (unlike iCloud), instant upload and synch, and the search capabilities are scary! If you're using it for family photos, the face recognition alone makes it worth it. Once photos are uploaded, you can download individual pics (what I do to upload to FB, Instagram, et. al), or set up albums for sharing. Works better than Photos for my purposes.
posted by Gilbert at 6:48 AM on January 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I use iCloud, plus flickr. I might add Google Photos. One caveat about flickr: its "automatic" backup is unreliable. But if I just open the flickr app on my phone, it starts syncing. So I'm just in the habit of opening it every day or two, and all my photos are there.
posted by The Deej at 7:17 AM on January 15, 2016

iCloud is a clunky mess. Apple want you to pay them for more storage.

I use Dropbox and Google Photos. The latter is particularly fantastic, as it has Google clever algorithms working away in the background. Plus, it is free (as long as you let Google decide the resolution - very high - of your photos). I have an Android phone and an iPad, and the autobackup feature of Google Photos works very well on both.

I now have my entire photo history (long before smartphones) backed up to both services. Google photos is the only one I find myself drawn back to. It will create 'events' relating to specific activities, holidays, adventures. It also creates these amazing GIFs out of photos in close sequence to one another. The facial recognition feature is pretty amazing too. Both these features mean it would do wonderful things to your baby photos.

The app also allows you delete any photos it has already uploaded, thus saving you any organisational headaches.

I am the kind of person who delves into big data with my eyes open. For that reason, although the 'privacy' issues of Google having access to all your photos is a concern I can sympathise with, I choose to let Google have my data over other companies (cough Apple cough) who shield all their data services behind a big screen marked 'You don't need to see behind here'.
posted by 0bvious at 7:27 AM on January 15, 2016

I use both Flickr and Google Photos but turned off cellular data for both apps. I open them when on wifi and they both sync pretty quickly when I have fewer than 50 new photos. I use both on my PC as well so sometimes I have the same photo on both my phone and PC at the same time. Both apps are smart enough to only put the photo in my account one time, although they still have to upload the photo to verify that it is the same file.

only I have Flickr pro
Does she have a regular Flickr account? You should both have an account and set each other as family and then have all of your uploads viewable by Family. Set that as a default if you can. I don't know if pro has any features that regular accounts don't. I think it just hides ads now.
posted by soelo at 7:27 AM on January 15, 2016

iCloud Photo Library is an ideal solution if you use it the way Apple intends. It's worked very well for me, and it's fast.

But if you don't use it how it's intended — and, sad to say, they haven't quite worked out the "more than one person might want to use this" thing, quite yet — you can be frustrated.

Meaning, you and your wife, assuming you each have an iPhone, would each be syncing with your own individual accounts (i.e. your photos will sync with the account associated with your Apple ID, and hers with her Apple ID). I'm not sure what a workflow into Lightroom would look like, but on Apple's photo apps, photos just appear. You can choose whether or not to download full-resolution copies to the computer (or leave them stored in the cloud). It's probably wise to download them (i.e. a true backup, rather than relying on the cloud). There are shared photo streams that allow some passing back and forth of images among multiple IDs, but I'm not sure that you get the full-resolution image when someone else shares.

Among those downsides, you probably don't want to do this if you're trying to share a computer with one install of Photos, because it associates with one Apple ID (which you can change, but it's a pain). My second choice would probably be Dropbox.
posted by brentajones at 8:20 AM on January 15, 2016

I paid 99 cents a month for the 50gb icloud subscription, turned on photo library, and i don't regret it at all.

You can share albums, and the performance for both backup and restore is glorious.

Dropbox works ok, and i have a huge dropbox account too... But i use that more for sharing specific things or for projects. icloud is just such a seamless backup solution.

I tried the free 1tb flickr thing for a while and found it really deficient. It randomly crops photos, seems to fuck with the quality, and i repeatedly had to fiddle with it not making photos public. It also just really didn't feel all that secure because flickr is for photo sharing, and the aforementioned glitchy privacy settings. Stupid things can happen like snapping a picture of a check to use with one of those photo-deposit banking apps, and then it gets uploaded. Fun times.
posted by emptythought at 11:49 AM on January 15, 2016

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