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Auto Backup Smartphone Photos and Video to Google+ and Flickr (for Free!)

Google+ App and Flickr App for Android or iOS

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According to Forbes Magazine over 50% of adults in the US have smartphones. That number increases to 80% in the 18-34 age group. So consider all of the photos and videos folks upload to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram on a second-by-second basis and what does that mean for the visual pack rat? It means it is essential to have an Auto Backup process in place for all of those cherished photos and videos to preserve them securely forever.

Screen shot of the Google+ app. Download the Google+ and Flickr Apps to your smartphone to backup your photos and video.
Tina Case Photography (Screen Shots from iPhone 5S)

Two free apps are essential for the smartphone shutterbug: Google+ for iOS (or Google+ for Android) and Flickr iOS (or Flickr for Android). There are pros and cons with each of these apps, so if you’re game you might want to have both:

Google, by far, is the most widely used search engine at this time. But they've had a difficult time in the social media space in the shadow of Facebook. But their Google+ app might be what it takes to help move more folks over.

The simplicity of turning on Google+ to auto backup your smartphone images is a no brainer. After downloading the app simply select whether you want to instantly back up your photos and video using Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi and mobile network. Both your photostream AND videos are automatically backed up (note, in my initial testing Google+ did back up all of my photos but only backed up videos that I took after installing their app, not the ones I had prior). This is a big advantage over Flickr, which has issues backing up video from your smartphone directly (third party apps such as Flickit are needed, and currently does not support iOS7).

Videos offer a rich recording of your experience but potentially use a lot more storage. So the ability to backup your videos is tremendous. The con? Google+ only offers 15 GB free storage whereas Flickr offers an unprecendented 1 TB of free storage (that's roughly 500,000 photos). What’s my workaround for uploading videos to Flickr? I email them to my Flickr account. While it’s not ideal, it’s simple and effective.

Another nice feature with both Google+ and Flickr is backups can be set to private. That way you determine what photos are shareable with the world. Google’s back up is automatically private whereas Flickr needs to be set up in settings.

Earlier I mentioned that Google+ offers only a mere 15GB of free storage for photos compared to Flickr’s 1 TB. However what is not often apparent is that number is actually more in line with Flickr if your images are “standard” size or 2048 pixel on the longest edge. Google+ states that you can upload an "unlimited" number of images if they are 2048 pixels at the longest edge or smaller. Full size photos can be no larger than 50MB. Does this pose a problem? While there’s not a correlation between pixels and inches, you can print a decent size image (8x10 inches) with the 2048 pixel limitation. The size is also ideal for the Internet (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat). And maybe that’s all you really want anyway.

So if you are constantly running out of room on your smartphone due to loads and loads of photos and video, what are you waiting for? Download the Google+ and Flickr apps now to automatically back up your photos and video.