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This Gear Fit Experience is so Meta

Meta is an oddly fascinating concept of something being self-referential. For example, fitness information from a fitness trainer using the wearable device and app that gives fitness information, is so meta. OK, it might not …
Nokia
Latest Technology, Samsung

This Video of Samsung Galaxy S5 is too Short

This really is too short. However, what you are about to see is as glorious as its background music. As you may already know, we at Samsung Tomorrow like serving cookies fresh out of the …
Latest Technology, NVIDIA

Audi Options NVIDIA in Keynote Kicking Off CES

Audi_Keynote-EntranceGerman automaker Audi, a longtime NVIDIA partner, brought a history lesson to the swank Chelsea Theater at The Cosmopolitan during its CES 2014 Keynote Monday night. A capacity crowd of 3,000 had its wait through long lines was rewarded by flutes of champagne, passed hors d’oeuvres, and a look into the past, present, and future… Read More
Latest Technology, NVIDIA
Latest Technology, NVIDIA
Latest Technology, NVIDIA
Latest Technology, NVIDIA

Unreal Engine 4 Comes to Mobile Devices with Tegra K1

nextgenwebkeystoneGo ahead. Take a second look. You’ve seen this demo before. We’re launching our latest mobile processor, Tegra K1, with a demo of Unreal Engine 4, a technology that was built on – and made its debut on – desktop computers. That simple fact shows that Tegra K1 changes everything:  the lines between mobile, desktop… Read More
Android, Latest Technology, NVIDIA

Tegra NOTE 7 Gets First Significant Software Update – Brings New Features and Capabilities

TegraNote_speaker_closeup_Nov11We upgraded our Tegra NOTE 7 tablet platform with an over-the-air update today with new features and capabilities. We’ve enhanced the Tegra NOTE stylus experience, adding support for left-handed users and improvements in overall response. We’ve also added a DirectStylus help option under the device setting’s menu, a stylus removal and insert notification on the notification bar, and given users… Read More
Latest Technology, NVIDIA

How a Frequent-Flying, Superstar DJ Travels With SHIELD

erockpeekEditor’s note:  Eric Nagrampa has been spinning records since vinyl was the only option. Known professionally as DJ E-Rock, Nagrampa worked his way up from his garage to radio, where he hosts Club 997 on the San Francisco Bay Area’s Movin 99.7. He’s now taking on the hottest clubs from around the country with residencies… Read More
Latest Technology, NVIDIA

SHIELD Experience Gets Better Still with Latest Software Update

shield-threequarterSHIELD, our revolutionary gaming portable, is the best way to play Android games. It lets gamers take their favorite PC games and play them on their couch. And it’s a multi-faceted entertainment device that can blast music from its built-in speakers or stream Netflix movies to its built-in 720p touch display. Mastering all these capabilities… Read More
Latest Technology, Tips & Tricks

No, iCloud Isn’t Backing Them All Up: How to Manage Photos on Your iPhone or iPad

iphone 5s camera

Are the photos you take with your iPhone or iPad backed up in case you lose your device? If you’re just relying on iCloud to manage your important memories, your photos may not be backed up at all.

Apple’s iCloud has a photo-syncing feature in the form of “Photo Stream,” but Photo Stream doesn’t actually perform any long-term backups of your photos.

iCloud’s Photo Backup Limitations

Assuming you’ve set up iCloud on your iPhone or iPad, your device is using a feature called “Photo Stream” to automatically upload the photos you take to your iCloud storage and sync them across your devices. Unfortunately, there are some big limitations here.

  • 1000 Photos: Photo Stream only backs up the latest 1000 photos. Do you have 1500 photos in your Camera Roll folder on your phone? If so, only the latest 1000 photos are stored in your iCloud account online. If you don’t have those photos backed up elsewhere, you’ll lose them when you lose your phone. If you have 1000 photos and take one more, the oldest photo will be removed from your iCloud Photo Stream.
  • 30 Days: Apple also states that photos in your Photo Stream will be automatically deleted after 30 days “to give your devices plenty of time to connect and download them.” Some people report photos aren’t deleted after 30 days, but it’s clear you shouldn’t rely on iCloud for more than 30 days of storage.
  • iCloud Storage Limits: Apple only gives you 5 GB of iCloud storage space for free, and this is shared between backups, documents, and all other iCloud data. This 5 GB can fill up pretty quickly. If your iCloud storage is full and you haven’t purchased any more storage more from Apple, your photos aren’t being backed up.
  • Videos Aren’t Included: Photo Stream doesn’t include videos, so any videos you take aren’t automatically backed up.

It’s clear that iCloud’s Photo Stream isn’t designed as a long-term way to store your photos, just a convenient way to access recent photos on all your devices before you back them up for real.

1 ios photo stream camera roll

iCloud’s Photo Stream is Designed for Desktop Backups

If you have a Mac, you can launch iPhoto and enable the Automatic Import option under Photo Stream in its preferences pane. Assuming your Mac is on and connected to the Internet, iPhoto will automatically download photos from your photo stream and make local backups of them on your hard drive. You’ll then have to back up your photos manually so you don’t lose them if your Mac’s hard drive ever fails.

If you have a Windows PC, you can install the iCloud Control Panel, which will create a Photo Stream folder on your PC. Your photos will be automatically downloaded to this folder and stored in it. You’ll want to back up your photos so you don’t lose them if your PC’s hard drive ever fails.

2 icloud control panel photo stream

Photo Stream is clearly designed to be used along with a desktop application. Photo Stream temporarily backs up your photos to iCloud so iPhoto or iCloud Control Panel can download them to your Mac or PC and make a local backup before they’re deleted. You could also use iTunes to sync your photos from your device to your PC or Mac, but we don’t really recommend it — you should never have to use iTunes.

How to Actually Back Up All Your Photos Online

So Photo Stream is actually pretty inconvenient — or, at least, it’s just a way to temporarily sync photos between your devices without storing them long-term. But what if you actually want to automatically back up your photos online without them being deleted automatically?

The solution here is a third-party app that does this for you, offering the automatic photo uploads with long-term storage. There are several good services with apps in the App Store:

  • Dropbox: Dropbox’s Camera Upload feature allows you to automatically upload the photos — and videos — you take to your Dropbox account. They’ll be easily accessible anywhere there’s a Dropbox app and you can get much more free Dropbox storage than you can iCloud storage. Dropbox will never automatically delete your old photos.
  • Google+: Google+ offers photo and video backups with its Auto Upload feature, too. Photos will be stored in your Google+ Photos — formerly Picasa Web Albums — and will be marked as private by default so no one else can view them. Full-size photos will count against your free 15 GB of Google account storage space, but you can also choose to upload an unlimited amount of photos at a smaller resolution.
  • Flickr: The Flickr app is no longer a mess. Flickr offers an Auto Upload feature for uploading full-size photos you take and free Flickr accounts offer a massive 1 TB of storage for you to store your photos. The massive amount of free storage alone makes Flickr worth a look.

3 google+ auto backup ios

Use any of these services and you’ll get an online, automatic photo backup solution you can rely on. You’ll get a good chunk of free space, your photos will never be automatically deleted, and you can easily access them from any device. You won’t have to worry about storing local copies of your photos and backing them up manually.


Apple should fix this mess and offer a better solution for long-term photo backup, especially considering the limitations aren’t immediately obvious to users. Until they do, third-party apps are ready to step in and take their place.

You can also automatically back up your photos to the web on Android with Google+’s Auto Upload or Dropbox’s Camera Upload.

Image Credit: Simon Yeo on Flickr