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Google

How To Backup ALL Your Smartphone Photos FOR FREE

How To Backup Your Smartphone Photos & Video FOR FREE

While I love my DSLR camera,  traveling over the past few years I have realized that the majority of the photos I take are now on my iPhone…

My guess is that I am not the only one who does this, so if you are anything like me then your smartphone’s storage probably fills up pretty quickly.

While there are a ton of different cloud storage options like iCloud, Dropbox, etc to backup your smartphone, most of them cost money once you fill up the free space.

I’ve also thought about just saving all my photos to an external hard drive but if something ever happened to the hard drive, all my photos would be lost!

After a little research, I came across quite an awesome workaround to this problem.

Enter Google+

If you aren’t familiar with Google+, don’t worry you aren’t the only one ; )

Basically it was Google’s failed attempt to create a Facebook clone that no one really uses anymore.

That being said, there is one AMAZING benefit of Google+ and that is FREE PHOTO & VIDEO STORAGE!

Normally Google accounts like Gmail, Google Drive, etc only come with 15gb free storage but in an attempt to seed Google+ with content and push people to use it on mobile , Google+ automatically uploads your smartphone photos to Google+ whenever the app is open and it DOES NOT COUNT against the free 15gb they give you.

Google+ also has Android, mobile browser, and desktop applications. On any of the platforms (including desktop), as long as your photos aren’t larger than 2048px and videos are less than 15 minutes long, you can back them up for free!!

I didn’t know they had a desktop app but now I am definitely going to backup all my DSLR photos to Google, just as a precaution.

"Google+ Web"

“Google+ Web”

One thing to remember before backing up your photos is to set your Google+ privacy setting to private. Once you do that, you basically have a free unlimited private photo repository.

As long as you open the Google+ app every few weeks and let it automatically upload your photos (like when you are about to sleep), your entire smartphone photo and video collection will be backed up for free.

It doesn’t get much better than that!

If you are interested in more information about Google+ and this awesome feature, check out the full LifeHacker article or the Google+ official post about it here.

Update

If you are having trouble with Google+, another option is Flickr.

They offer 1 terabyte (1000gb) of storage for free and also have a mobile app that auto syncs. I use both Google+ and Flickr currently.

-Parag

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Time Saving Google Trick For Finding Your Flight Info

Google Flight Search

If you are anything like me, at any given time you probably have  3+ flights booked for sometime in the distant future.

Since I typically have quite a few upcoming trips, I rarely can remember the exact dates, times, and carriers I am flying. So typically after I book a flight and receive the email confirmation, I try to flag the email and move it to a travel folder in my inbox. Additionally, I will also forward the flight confirmation to TripIt, which I use to track and manage my existing itineraries.

While those 2 tools are great to track your itineraries, more often than not, I forget one or both of those steps and the email confirmation gets lost in my inbox.

For normal people this probably wouldn’t be an issue but if you are a frequent flyer, it can get a bit out of hand.

For example, I booked a flight out to Seattle for FTU in April and am planning to go a week early to visit my Cousin who lives out there. The other day, he asked me what day and time does my flight get into SEA.

I didn’t know off the top of my head, so I went into my inbox and tried to search for ‘British Airways’ (who I thought I was flying to SEA) and got 77 items returned with 20 of them being just from the last 5 months…

Yikes!

"Talk About A Cluster..."

“Talk About A Cluster…”

Of course, I couldn’t find my British Airways confirmation to SEA because it didn’t exist! After spending 10 minutes digging thru my inbox, I realized that I am flying Southwest to SEA…

Google To The Rescue

Unrelated to that SEA search, by accident the other day, I happened to be searching something like “Chicago Flight Delays” on Google and was extremely surprised when all my upcoming flight information showed up, including my ORD-SEA flight!

"Creepy or Awesome?"

“Creepy or Awesome?”

Apparently since last August, if you use Gmail, Google has been searching your inbox and has been adding some of the results to your everyday Google search. Of course, ONLY YOU (and the NSA) can see these personalized results.

Is it kind of creepy?

Just a bit BUT it is also awesome because simply by typing in your home airport, if you have Gmail, Google will now show you all your upcoming flights. No need to categorize emails or flag the flight confirmations! If it is in your inbox, Google will find it!

I was pretty impressed by this innovation, so I did a little research and found some other cool Google travel related tricks!

Check Your Flight Status

If you search “What’s My Flight Status”, Google will automatically show you the flight status of your upcoming flights!

No more having to find your flight number and input it into FlightTracker or the airline’s website.

Additionally, if you are tracking someone else’s flight (like you have to pick them up from the airport), Google will show you in real time the status of the flight and how much longer it will be.

"Amazing!"

“Amazing!”

If you are curious, there are also a whole host of other useful features that Google has added to their search like tracking the status of your packages, giving you the name and address of your upcoming hotel stay, etc. More info on that can be found here.

Recap

While there certainly is a fine line between technology that is intuitive and technology that is just plain creepy, I think Google has really hit the nail on the head with this improvement.

The fact that I can now almost instantly look up and check the status of ANY of my upcoming flights is a huge time saver for me. Especially when the alternative is digging thru my inbox or having to login to the airline’s website.

So next time you need to check your flight status or see what time your flight is taking off, just ask Google!

-Parag

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