by Lincoln Spector for Windows Secrets Newsletter
Dropbox makes the easiest way to send photos
E-mail, Facebook, texting, etc. are all good ways to share new digital stills and videos; but they’re typically an image-by-image, select-and-send process.
Dropbox can eliminate those extra steps with its Camera Upload option, available on Android and iOS devices.
Shoot, file, and send photos automatically
Managing photographs just keeps getting easier and easier. Fifteen years ago, we took our undeveloped film to a photo lab, looked over our snaps for a couple of minutes, and then dumped the prints and negatives into shoeboxes. Now we snap images with our phone or tablet and immediately e-mail them to friends or family or post them on Facebook for all to see.
Dropbox (site) adds a higher level of automation to digital-image sharing. All you have to do is snap the picture; if you’re connected to the Internet, Dropbox immediately uploads the image to its servers, then downloads it to a folder on your computer and to other Dropbox-capable devices. Once the photos are on your computer, sharing them with friends and family can be just as automatic.
Dropbox’s service works with iPhones, iPads, and Android-based phones and tablets. It’ll also work with one of the new Android cameras, such as Nikon’s COOLPIX S800c (info) or Samsung’s EK-GC100 Galaxy (info). You’ll also need a Dropbox account, of course, installed on both your PC and on your camera, phone, or tablet. (From here on, I’ll just use the word camera.)
In the following sections, I’ll tell you how to set up automatic Dropbox photo uploading. I’ll start by assuming you’ve already installed Dropbox on your PC and camera and you’re using the same Dropbox account on both.
From Android to PC, without lifting a finger
Here’s how to set up automatic photo uploading in Android. I used a Droid X phone running Android 2.3.4; your device might behave in a slightly different manner.
Open Dropbox on the camera, then press the physical Menu button. Tap Settings and then find and tap Turn on Camera Upload. The resulting screen will give you two settings, shown in Figure 1.
The first is Upload photos and videos using: Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi or data plan. (As shown in Figure 1, Wi-Fi only is the default.) If you don’t have an unlimited data plan (and fewer and fewer of us do), select Wi-Fi only. If you’re one of the lucky few who still have an unlimited plan, enjoy it — you probably won’t have it for long.
The second option, Upload existing photos and videos, affects only what will happen immediately after you enable Camera Upload. Should Dropbox start its new uploading duties by transferring all photos already on your camera to your PC? It probably should — unless you have a huge collection of images on the phone. If that’s the case, consider physically connecting the phone to the PC one more time to move the entire collection faster.
This excerpt appears with permission from Windows Secrets Newsletter.