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The best photo apps to keep your memories in the cloud

The best photo apps to keep your memories in the cloud

memory-mobile-ssToday’s photography environment is more complex than ever. It involves digital cameras, smartphones, tablets, and computers. As the number of devices people use to take photos is rising so is the number of solutions and applications through which they take, view, share photos or use photo editors. According to a recent survey by Suite 48 Analytics, the leading research and analysis firm for the mobile photography market, 76 % of the respondents that store more than 25 photos do this on multiple devices. 52% of them store photos on multiple online services. 33% of the respondents use both their smartphone and their digital camera, and 5% regularly take photos with their tablet as well as their smartphone and digital camera.

With photos dispersed among multiple devices, the need of sharing them opened the door for many photo apps to enter the market. But, let’s take a look at 5 of the most used cloud photo apps:

  1. Dropbox is available for iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, and many other platforms. Dropbox syncs everything between devices, and stores backups on  After acquiring web photo-service Snapjoy back in December, Dropbox rolled out a new feature that allows users to visualize all the photos stored.  It offers automatic image backup on your devices with Camera Upload.
  2. SkyDrive is Microsoft’s own cloud storage service that ties into Microsoft Office Online and the full desktop versions of Microsoft Office. Pictures can be sorted into albums, played as a slideshow, or even embedded on third-party websites.  It has the best support for Microsoft products, which is important for businesses. SkyDrive also offers desktop apps for Windows and Mac. For basic photo storage, SkyDrive is a great, free option.
  3. Flickr is a top-notch experience for professional photographers. It stores images at multiple resolutions, offers fine-grained privacy controls, and has a public API that integrates the service into dozens of third-party apps.
  4. Photobucket is the world’s leading dedicated photo and video sharing service. With over 100 million registered members, Photobucket users upload over four million images and videos per day from the Web, Smartphones, and connected digital cameras.
  5. Stream Nation is a media-centric cloud storage for photos and videos. Users can upload using a Stream Nation app from their iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows PC or even via a URL from the web. Once uploaded, Stream Nation members can access photos and watch videos on any connected device.

Beside these applications there are tens of others that may be used for photo sharing and storage, but they rarely compete head-to-head with one another through identical feature sets. Here are some interesting highlights from the Suite 48 Analytics report:

  • The largest unmet needs are around backing up and syncing dispersed photos as well as finding and browsing photos;
  • App providers vary in how they aggregate dispersed photos. Some of them aggregate photos through unidirectional (upload-only) syncing, others do so through bidirectional syncing, and others don’t move the source files but display the photos through links to where they are stored. Some use a combination of all three.
  • Solutions that link to source photos don’t sync them or back them up.

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