The Cloud is quickly becoming the core of mobile computing, with multiple devices on different platforms, it is clear to see why storing those precious photos in the cloud would be sensible and attractive. This article looks at using the cloud to store your photos centrally rather on CD’s, pen drives or even your personal computer.
There are many different Cloud storage providers like OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and many more. I will be drawing your attention to just two of them OneDrive and Google Photos, these services are key in the mobile market at the moment especially as according to an article in THE INQUIRER, Android currently hold 49.7% share of the smartphone market (Page, Carly. “Apple’s UK market share climbs to 42.5 percent as Android dominance falters”, http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2389029/apples-uk-market-share-climbs-to-425-percent-as-android-dominance-falters#) and both these services (apps) can be installed not just on this platform but also Apples iOS.
OneDrive (formerly named SkyDrive) is the brainchild of Microsoft and comes with a FREE 15GB of storage (at time of print), you can store all your files in OneDrive and install the app onto your PC, smartphone or tablet (inc. iPad) and if you are using a quirky device that you can’t install the app on, then you can gain access to the service using just a web browser.
To use OneDrive you would need to have a Microsoft account, if you already have a Hotmail, Live or Outlook email address then you already have an account. If not you can setup account for FREE at https://login.live.com/ and then choose “Sign Up Now”. Please note you DON’T have to create a new email account with Microsoft you can just use your existing email address to setup an account. Once you have gone through all the details and verification processes your account is ready to use.
To get OneDrive onto your device simply visit your app store and search for “OneDrive” and install it, again the app is FREE so go ahead and download it. Once installed, sign-in with your Microsoft Account and follow the on-screen instructions.
One of the cool things I like about OneDrive is the minute you install the app onto your mobile device and opt to backup your photos, it offers you an additional 3GB upgrade for the pleasure and for FREE (thank you very much Microsoft). I would always recommend that you only upload your photos over “WIFI Only” as utilizing your mobile data contract might incur additional costs. Also note that you can upload video too, which is useful, but remember video’s are large and will take up much more space.
Now once you have completed all those tasks OneDrive will start backing up your photos into the cloud and from now on, every time you take a photo OneDrive will upload it to the Cloud.
Google Photos works slightly differently than OneDrive. With Google Photos the user is still given 15GB of FREE space however, this space is shared across Google Drive, Gmail, as well as Google Photos, the collective name for this service is Google+. That said if you are only using this facility to store your photos you will be taking advantage of the full 15GB. Everything is pretty much the same, you can store all your files in Google Drive, install the Google Drive Sync app onto your PC and if you are using an Android smartphone the Photo app will already be installed. You can even install the app on your iPad or iPhone or access to your photos can be gained using just a web browser.
To active the service all you need to do is to setup a Google account at https://accounts.google.com/signup in much the same way you do with OneDrive and again you can use your own email address, so there is NO NEED to have a Gmail email address, just make sure to click the option “I prefer to use my current email address“.
There are a few more settings in the Google Photos app than OneDrive allowing a little more tailoring of how and what to backup, however in my opinion these are for the geeks to play with. In simple terms once the service is enabled all your photos will be backed up and stored on the Google service in the cloud.
Finally, although you currently don’t get extra space for FREE if you opt to sync your files on other devices. Google do provide FREE storage of photos IF they meet certain criteria (for example, you can store up to 2048px photos without taking up storage space).
So finally, there is no excuse for loosing all those important and precious photos of your loved ones ever again and if you run out of space on any of these services you can always purchase extra space at a very reasonable price.
Quick Summary of Services
- OneDrive – (Free 15GB, app available for iOS, Android and PC, upgrade space available for additional charge)
- Google+ – (Free 15GB, app available for iOS, Android and PC, upgrade space available for additional charge, space not used if storing photos under 2048px)
- Dropbox – (Free 2GB, app available for iOS, Android and PC, upgrade space available for additional charge)
- iCloud – (Free 5GB, app available for iOS and PC, upgrade space available for additional charge)