Now that we’re all getting so good at taking pictures with our cellphones, a new problem is arising. You can’t take any more pictures because the phone is full! I know you don’t want to lose your pictures, so the first step is to copy them to some other location, either to a computer, or to an account on the Internet – in ‘the cloud.’ There are several ways to do this. You can treat your phone just like any other camera and attach it to your computer with a USB cable to copy pictures from your phone to the computer. We have a tutorial video on our Geeks on Tour website that shows exactly how to do that with an iPad and it’s similar with other devices. The easier way is to allow one of your accounts to copy all the pictures to the Cloud.
Copy your Pictures to the Cloud
- Facebook: find the settings for your Facebook App on your phone and turn on ‘Sync Photos’ This will copy all new photos to the “Synced from Phone” private album in your Facebook account. See Facebook Help on Syncing photos from phone.
- Google+ Photos: Your Google+ account can also automatically copy all your phone’s photos to a private album in your Google account. You need the or the installed on your phone, then find the setting for Auto-Backup and turn it on. See Google+ help page on Auto Backup.
- iCloud: if you have an iPhone, you can turn on the iCloud settings to synchronize your photo stream on your phone with your computer. See iCloud Photo Stream help.
- Dropbox: This is what I use to copy my pictures from the phone because it not only copies the pictures to the Cloud, but I can also set it up to download those cloud pictures to my computer. When I have a good Internet connection, it’s almost instantaneous! I take a picture with the phone, by the time I sit down to my computer, it’s there! I can now work with it using Picasa! See this Tutorial Video on Dropbox and Picasa at Geeks on Tour.
- Pick One … and Watch your Data Limits! Imagine if you turned on all of the above auto-upload options. Now when you take one picture with your phone, it is being copied 4 times! That means a 2 Megabyte picture is using 8MBs of your cellular data plan’s allotment! You can also change your settings so that the uploads only take place when your phone is connected to a Wi-Fi signal – this way you’re not using up your Data allotment.
Delete Pictures from your Phone
Now that your pictures are safely at some other location, you can delete them from your phone. This will free up the space for you to take more pictures.
- Android: Open your Gallery app and find the menu. Tap the menu item for Edit, or Select item. Now when you touch each photo it will show a checkmark or highlight that it is selected. If you tap where it shows #selected, you’ll also see an option to Select All. Notice at the top of the screen you have the choice to share or Delete (trash).
- iPhone: Open your photos app and touch Edit. Now when you touch each photo it will show a checkmark that it is selected. Notice at the top of the screen you have the choice to share or Delete (trash).
View Pictures in the Cloud, using your Phone
I know plenty of people who don’t like to delete pictures from their phone because they think they’ll no longer be able to see them using their phone. Not true. If your pictures are on Facebook, or Google+ or even Dropbox, you will be able to view them using the Facebook, Google+, or Dropbox App on your phone.
Here’s my workflow regarding cellphone pictures:
- Take pictures with phone
- Let Dropbox upload all cellphone pictures to my Dropbox account, which then also downloads them to my computer
- On the computer, I work with the pictures using Picasa – deleting the bad ones, adding captions and improvements to the good ones
- Using Picasa’s “Share on Google+” feature, I add all my best photos to shared albums on Google+
- From my phone, I can view those Google+ photos at any time. I’ve been doing this for years (when Google+ photos was Picasa Web Albums) so, I can show you any of my pictures from our 11 years on the road by using the Google+ App on my Android phone, OR my iPad.