Best way to share baby pictures with grandparents, et al.?
May 11, 2016 8:50 AM   Subscribe

What's the simplest way to share baby pictures, taken on an Android phone, with a defined group of family and friends, many of whom have iPhones?

In two months my wife and I are expecting our first child. My wife's cousin has set an unnecessarily high bar by providing a new picture of her child, born in January, every day to her mother and other assorted family members. We'd like to be able to do something similar. She uses some kind of Apple program and her iPhone to do this, but I don't know which one.

I use an Android, my mother-in-law and few other family members use iPhones, and my parents use flip phones and would be looking to access pictures from a computer. What I'd like is to be able to take pictures of our little tadpole on my phone and upload them to something where they're not public but we can define a group of people who can see them, either through their smart phones or on a computer. What service, app, etc. would be meet my needs?
posted by Bulgaroktonos to Technology (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Facebook. Congratulations on the birth of your first child!
posted by Rob Rockets at 8:53 AM on May 11, 2016 [2 favorites]

Do you want the grandparents to be able to download or just view?

Do all parties have Facebook?
posted by mercredi at 8:53 AM on May 11, 2016

I do essentially this with my Flickr account. Any photo I take with my (android) phone gets automatically uploaded to my account, and I can then share them to family (or publicly) as I see fit.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 8:54 AM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: No, not everyone has Facebook.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:54 AM on May 11, 2016

Google Hangouts is what we use for this.
posted by chaiminda at 8:54 AM on May 11, 2016

Oh! We have this: nixplay digital picture frame

It is a (super pricy) digital picture frame that connects to wi-fi and then you can push photos to the frame. So you basically set up an online account, upload photos to the nixplay site and it pushes the photos to the frame. No USB like the older digital picture frames. You can have one playlist for up to 5 frames so many people can see it.

The grandparents love it because they don't have to do anything. You just enter in their wi-fi and password the first time the frame is turned on and then you (the tech savvy parents) can do the rest.

The other option is to use Picasa and email out links periodically but we found the nixplay frame is a huge hit with the grandparents.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:55 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

We do this with Google Photos, available on all platforms as long as everyone has a google/gmail account. Create a "shared album", invite the people you want invited. It's super easy to add pictures from iPhones & Android (and the computer should you take them on a "real" camera and want to upload them), and anyone who's invited to the album can add pictures (so the grandparents are in a secret passive aggressive cute baby picture-off as they each add pictures of the baby being cute while with them).
posted by brainmouse at 8:55 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

You can set up a Tumblr, protected by password (the same password for everyone), and post there.

Alternately (or concurrently), if folks have/prefer email, you can set up an email newsletter through Tinyletter or similar.
posted by brentajones at 8:57 AM on May 11, 2016

Google+ works great for this. We backup all of the photos to the google cloud, and then if we want to share certain photos and videos we can do that easily since we created a "Family" group that we can share to with one click.
posted by gatorae at 8:59 AM on May 11, 2016

Yeah, the password protected tumblr is super easy, just make sure to use one of the layouts that have DEFAULT LARGE NAVIGATION BUTTONS because otherwise your grandparents will go mad trying to find the tiny next page arrow.

Definitely make sure to remind them to always ignore the promptings to install the tumblr mobile app, which is only slightly better than two soup cans tied together with a piece of string with you on one end describing the photos and them on the other trying to imagine them.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:09 AM on May 11, 2016 [3 favorites]

Facebook. You can message people pictures, but frankly if they don't have smartphones or data plans or modern tech...

Mazel-tov on your baby!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:16 AM on May 11, 2016

My cousin and her husband have a Tiny Beans account for their baby photos, which is pretty great. It sends me an email with baby photos every day (I think I can change the frequency of the emails), and the parents/accountholders can sign other people up, which is very handy for less technologically advanced and/or lazy family members. I think there's also an app:
posted by zoetrope at 9:25 AM on May 11, 2016

Google Photos does this, and it's native to your phone. So it's probably the best bet.
posted by Jairus at 9:47 AM on May 11, 2016

All my family's on iPhones, and we use Apple's PhotoStream for this purpose, which is nice because not only can the people (that you invite to the stream) see the photos, but they can comment on them, which is kinda fun. So you might want something like that that is cross-platform.

Now that WhatsApp has desktop apps, you could do this on WhatsApp, which lets you set up continuing group chats [1] and post pictures to them. (I'm currently in Mexico, where everyone uses WhatsApp, and I really like it. Better than iMessage on the iPhone, in a lot of ways---not the least of which is that people that don't have iPhones can be part of the chat.)

[1] What I mean by this is you set up a chat, and then it persists in the app. And the person who set up the chat (presumably you) can add more people, e.g., when it turns out your cousin wants to get the photos too. For example, the one of the parents in my kid's school class have set up a WhatsApp group for all the parents of kids in that class, and there's various (not-necessarily-school-related) chit-chat.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:55 AM on May 11, 2016

There are tons of options so it really depends on what services everyone has:
Google Photos, Flickr, OneDrive, DropBox can all automatically back up every photo you take on your phone and then it would be up to you to decide what to share. You could do this individually or by putting the photos into a shared album. You could even set things up so that the other family members wouldn't need an account of their own on the service, just a URL for the album. At least on Google Photos and Flickr you'd be able to have comments under the photos, not sure about OneDrive or DropBox.

A group chat in Whatsapp would also work but then you wouldn't get comments attached to the photos it would all be part of the same chat stream.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:37 AM on May 11, 2016

Dropbox works on everything.
posted by flabdablet at 10:51 AM on May 11, 2016 [1 favorite]

My far-flung family uses Whatsapp for sharing photos like this, one by one (and "live") rather than in big albums. I don't know why it works so well, but I really feel like it's brought us closer since we started using it.
posted by superfish at 12:30 PM on May 11, 2016

nthing Dropbox. Their web and mobile interfaces do a really good job of presenting "slideshow" versions of folders that contain pictures/video.

You can limit access to only specific users (a little annoying, means everyone needs a dropbox account), or create a link that anyone who has access to the link can view (easier, but more potential for leaks).

If you go the link route, if you find out that someone does spread the link too far, you can disavow the old link and email around a new one.

I just memailed you a link, which will expire in 30 days (that's a new feature!), with the folder that has my wedding photos so you can kind of see how it works.
posted by sparklemotion at 1:44 PM on May 11, 2016

I use Lifecake for this. I'm pretty sure it has android and iOS.
posted by emkelley at 6:40 PM on May 11, 2016

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