Camera Upload is a great new feature in Dropbox which makes it easier to put photos into emails and documents.
Having a camera on your smartphone is great but transferring the picture to your computer is fiddly. You have to email the photo to yourself or link the device to your computer then copy the image across.
Cloud storage providers make it easier with the ability to automatically upload new photos to the online store then copy from there to a computer.
Apple device users have iCloud and the Photo Stream to do that.
Dropbox now has a similar Camera Upload feature for Android devices as well as Mac and Windows computers. Skydrive has no such feature.
Take a photo on your Android phone and it automatically gets uploaded to your Dropbox account online. No need to do anything except touch the camera shutter button to take the photo. From there it’ll be copied to any other computer where you have the Dropbox software installed.
We’ve tried this and it works great. Take a photo and in less than a minute it appears on the Windows computer via Dropbox online.
From there you easily can add it to an email or document in the usual way.
It’s also possible to use Camera Roll from your computer to upload images you copy from a camera. This might work for some purposes. Heavy photographers with many images and/or RAW files would quickly run out of Dropbox space but for a modest collection of JPG’s its worth considering.
Dropbox Android App
The Dropbox Android app has an option under Settings to control Camera Upload. If there's no 'Camera Upload' option, download the latest version from Google Play (the new name for the Market).
Either turn the feature off entirely or upload using both Wi-Fi and 3G connections or Wi-Fi only (choose the latter to save expensive mobile charges or save your monthly allowance).
Dropbox - Camera Upload settings
Video files made on the Android phone are also uploaded and distributed just like images.
Camera Upload works for any file saved to the ‘Camera’ folder on the device – that’s the default save location for photos or videos taken with the included camera app.
Screen shots from your Android device are not saved to that folder and so aren’t included in the Dropbox Camera Upload feature. To put into Dropbox:
- choose Gallery
- the Screen Capture folder
- select the image
- hold your finger on the image for a moment until the ‘Share via’ menu item appears at the bottom,
Android device - share image to Dropbox
- choose ‘Share via’ and select Dropbox
- select a Dropbox folder to save the image to (eg Camera Upload)
Other than the automatic upload of new files from a device, the Camera Upload folder is like any other Dropbox folder. Changes made to files (add, delete, rename) are replicated to synchronized locations.
Article posted: Tuesday, 22 May 2012
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