The Best Ways to Backup Your iPhone and Android Photos to the Cloud

Consumers and companies have been fighting for years to find better ways to seamlessly back-up their mobile device images for fear of losing them when they switch to a new phone every 2 years, or a device crashing and needing to be wiped completely without the ability to recover anything. All of those family photos you took, i’ll bet you never realized that you are going to need to store those bad boys somewhere reliable before you wipe your phone for the new (upgrade) model you pick up from your mobile provider.

Lucky for you I have done the hard work in testing most of the major cloud back-up services so you don’t have to. Below, you will read my review of each, from essentially the best to the worst. I don’t mince words either.

Let’s get to it!

The Totally Free Options
Google Photos (FREE UNLIMITED! With one small caveat…)
Google Photos stands at the top of my list for best photo cloud storage. Not only because of the fact it offers you free unlimited photos, but the application actually does a lot of other really intelligent things for you. It will automatically create animated GIF’s for you depending on how many photos were shot in short sequence. It will also create unique custom processed images based on some you may have created in the past.

Click the photo of my dog Patrick to see the GIF Google Photos created for me.


The Points You Need To Know

  • Unlimited storage is free, as long as images are 16megapixels or under. If over, they will auto resize for you.
  • Google Photos creates random “processed” images for you. Very cool feature.
  • Google Photos creates random GIF’s for you. VERY cool feature.
  • You can create private galleries to share with family, friends, or whomever you want.
  • Google Photos creates Stories for you based on your location and dates. A nice online book so to speak.
  • Google Photos might not be a good fit for professional photographers who need their lossless photo archives backed up, due to compression of images.
  • Overall – The best option for anyone with a Google Account (Which we all have) and does not want to worry about having all of their photos backed up.


The Somewhat Free Options

Amazon Photos (UNLIMITED! – With Prime Membership)Screenshot_2015-06-23-08-34-17
My second favorite option, which I run continuously in the background of my Galaxy Note 4. Definitely not as elaborate or integrated as Google photos, and the UX of this could use some love, but the ability to have all of my photos, uncompressed, regardless of type, fully backed up for the annual price of my Amazon Prime membership, can not be beat IMO.

The Points You Need To Know

  • Unlimited photo storage of any type and size with your Prime Membership
  • Video’s are NOT included in the unlimited backup plan. You have to pay extra for that
  • Very simple. Auto-upload in the background the moment a photo is taken. On WiFi, Data or both
  • I back up as many photos from scanned film to all of my past digital cams here, as time allows.
  • Overall – Use this as a redundant more utilitarian backup in line with Google Photos.

Flickr (1,000gb FREE – Unlimited with Pro Membership)
Flickr is one of my favorite photo sharing sites and they are making a valiant effort to compete with the rest of the applications in the market. Where Flickr shines is the community around it as it acts as more of a community photo sharing forum with discussions, etc. Want to have your work seen? Flickr is great to use if you want actual exposure of your images. From a privacy standpoint, this is not really the intent of Flickr so don’t expect much. From a backup standpoint, I personally do not use it in this way due to the inability to create private, sharable galleries. You can auto-upload your images and set to private by default, but it can become a giant mess when trying to organize the images after the fact.

The Points You Need To Know

  • Flickr is a great tool for professional photographers to upload their work and gain some notoriety
  •  Great for community discussion
  • While it has unlimited photo storage with the pro version, you need to be careful with privacy and Creative Commons rights (You may find your photos stolen much easier than other places)
  • If you don’t care about your mobile photos being uploaded without being auto-sorted to a gallery, have at it!

“Meh” Options
I really don’t feel like wasting time on these other options as they have really disappointed me. I will make a few notes though…

Microsoft OneDrive (15gb Free, kind of boring)

  • Very limited storage
  • I have seen how they actually have banned artists and photographers for having “adult” content uploaded. B&W BodyScape Nudes and the like. Hardly anything near pornographic.

Dropbox (2gb Space. 1,000gb for $120 a year. Really boring)

  • Let’s lay it on the line here – DropBox is meant for people who share files. Not for photo backups. I don’t care who they are trying to be or what market they are trying to cut into. This is not for you.

iPhoto (500gb for $10 a month – Ripoff)

  • If you’re an iPhone user, please don’t pay for this crap. Use one of the other amazing options above.

I hope I have given you some insight into my experience on the best ways I have found to seamlessly back-up your mobile images.

Let me know if you have any questions, feel free to comment below, and share this article with friends and family.