Since I have a toddler at home, it’s nice to have pictures available all the time. Our normal trip to the mall or grocery store usually results in seeing people we know and them asking how our daughter is doing. If she is not with us, my wife or I usually whip out our phone and show them a few pictures of her. Not just pictures that we’ve taken on our cell phone, but pictures that actually reside on our home computer. You know, the pictures that are actually clear and you can tell that you looking at a person and not some dark blurry blob that cell phone pictures usually look like. Whether the pictures are of your kids or your most recent vacation, it’s nice to have access to your pictures all the time, from anywhere. You will need a smartphone (IE iPhone, iPad, Droid, or Windows Phone) and internet access in order to make this really cool process work.
There are 4 steps that I will outline below that you will need to follow in order to set everything up.
1. You will need a gmail account.
If you don’t already have a gmail account simply go to www.gmail.com and click on create an account to create your gmail account. This account will not only allow you to access your pictures from anywhere, it will also allow you to use gmail which is a very cool email service. Creating a gmail account is free.
2. Download Picasa to your computer and upload photos
Go to www.picasa.com and download and install Picasa to your computer. Picasa is a free download.
Upon opening Picasa the first time, it will do a scan of your computer and automatically import all of the pictures on your computer. You can simply organize yourself by creating folders and dragging and dropping certain pictures into certain folders.
Once you have your pictures in Picasa, you can simply right click on the pictures you want to access from your phone and select “Upload to picasa web albums”
You will be prompted for a username and password. This is the username and password that you created in step 1. IE email@example.com and your password
At the top of the screen you will notice that you can create new albums very easily. Just click on the “New” button in the top right hand corner, give your album a new name, and just like that you’ve create a new album.
Now you can upload pictures to that particular album or any other album you wish to create.
3. After you create your albums and upload your pictures, you need to install the Picasa Web Album app on your smartphone/tablet.
If you have a droid go into your market and search for Picasa Tool and install it. It is free.
On the iPhone/iPad there are several different Picasa apps you can download, some of them are free and others you have to pay for. All of them are going to work pretty much the same. On my iPad I have the Picasa iShowPhoto HD. It’s free and it works well.
After you have the Picasa mobile app installed, you will have to login with the account that you created in the first step.
After you login, you will be able to select the Albums tab and view the albums that you created in Picasa and all of the photos that you uploaded to those albums.
4. Access to your pictures from anywhere
Now, not only will you be able to access your pictures from your smartphone, but you will be able to access your pictures from any computer that has Internet access.
Go to www.picasa.com and click on Picasa Web Albums underneath the Download Picasa link (right hand side of the page).
Login with your username and password that you created in step 1.
As long as you you’ve uploaded photos through Picasa (step 2), you will be able to view your pictures.
This is a fantastic way to share photos with family members and friends. I realize that Facebook and Twitter can do the same thing but some of your family or friends may not have Facebook or Twitter accounts. This will provide and alternative solution for you to share pictures with them.
The best part about all of this, is that it’s free. Google gives you 1 GB of free online storage for your photos. However, if you have tons of photos that you would like to share or are planning on using this as a backup for your photos Google also offers extremely reasonable prices if you wish to upgrade. You can get 20 GB for $5 per year, 80 GB for $20 per year, 200 GB for $50 per year, 400 GB for $100 per year, and 1 TB for $256 per year.
For those of you who have iPhone’s and iPad’s, iCloud allows you to do the same thing. But for people who have droids, this is a great way to access your pictures from anywhere. As always, if you have any questions please let us know.