TIME advice

4 Easy Ways to Organize Your Vacation Photos

Getty Images

Put your memories in one place

From the first day of camp to the Fourth of July parade, you’ve snapped quite a few pictures this summer. We’ve found four apps that will help you organize and share those images with speed and efficiency. So you can put the summer of 2015 in the books — so to speak.

Google Photos

What it is: The latest iteration of photo storage from Google replaces Google+.

How it works: The new app offers real time photo backup of what you shoot on your phone plus unlimited storage of high quality photos and videos. Once uploaded, you can search your photos by facial recognition or keywords with uncanny accuracy. It recognized our 8-year old from birth to her most recent birthday and never confused her face with that of her look-alike little sister. And rest assured, even though Google is in the search business, your photos are secure and private.

Favorite feature: “The Assistant” automatically groups shots based on date and creates gifs, photo albums, and collages.

Cost: Unlimited storage of compressed images; 15 Gb for full-sized images. 100 GB is $2/month; 1TB is $10/month.


What it is: Recently acquired by Canon, Lifecake is a private platform for storing, organizing, and sharing your family memories in the cloud. Think interactive timeline meets journal. Fear not: the founders (vets of Skype and Yahoo) promise the camera giant won’t change their commitment to your privacy or limit the devices you can use to capture photos. Keep clicking away on your phone.

How it works: After initializing the app and entering basic info for your kids (name and birthday), LifeCake lets you organize all of your digital photos and videos into a shareable timeline. You can add stories or captions to each image, create slideshows set to music from your device, and invite friends and family members to privately share in the fun.

Favorite feature: Make a hardcover photo book from the website for $50.

Cost: Download 10 GB for free; unlimited storage is $4.99/month or $35.99/year.


What it is: If you document your family life via social media, but have grandparents or loved ones who still can’t figure out how to use a VCR, this is the app for you.

How it works: After signing up, sync Kidpost to your social accounts. Next, on the Kidspot website add the email addresses of the people you want to share your memories with. Every day Kidpost will scan the images you post to Facebook, Instagram, Flickr or Twitter, and if you have added #kidpost to the post your friends and family will receive an email digest of the images.

Favorite feature: Want to be less obvious about using Kidpost? Customize your hashtag. #Goodtimes. #Summerof2015. Whatever works for you.

Cost: Free for the first month. After that $3/month or $30/year.


What it is: DropBox’s answer to photo storage and sharing. If you use DropBox for other documents you will feel right at home.

How it works: Carousel syncs with your DropBox account and your phone, automatically backing up all of your photos you shoot on the cloud. Photos and videos are organized chronologically, but you can decide what to hide from your homepage. Create albums to share or post on your social accounts.

Favorite feature: Take a trip down memory lane with Flashback. It organizes and presents images from that very week in years past.

Cost: 3 GB of storage, free.

This article originally appeared on Cozi

This article was written by Lindsey Gladstone for Cozi, a Time Inc. company. Cozi is the leading family organizing app that makes it simple to keep track of everyone’s schedules, shopping lists and to dos. Information is updated in real time and shared with each member of the family, so everyone is always on the same page. Get the Cozi app (it’s free!) at cozi.com or search for Cozi in your favorite app store.

More from Cozi:

TIME Apple

iPhones May Soon Be Able to Scan Faces for Easier Photo Sharing

Apple Starts iPhone 6 Sales In Germany
Sean Gallup—Getty Images

It’s the future of photo sharing

A facial recognition system that will allow you to share photos more easily might be a fixture on future iPhones, according to a patent that was published today on the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office website.

Apple filed for the patent in February of last year. If the company goes through with this plan, your iPhone will be able to scan faces in photos that you take and identify which of your contacts are present. It can then prompt you with the option to send the picture to any of those contacts via whichever forms of communication are available to you for those specific people.

The phone may also have a “relational database” that will allow users to share pictures with contacts related to the person in the picture. For example, if you want to send a picture of a child to his parent, the phone can store that relationship information in its database and choose the correct contact based on that.

TIME Taiwan

Two Mailboxes Are the Newest Taiwanese Celebrities After a Supertyphoon

Taiwan takes stock in Typhoon Soudelor's wake
Kyodo/AP A postman poses in front of a pair of newly famous postal boxes in Taipei on August 10, 2015

The battered Taipei mailboxes have become symbols of resilience

As Taiwan surveys the damage wreaked by supertyphoon Souledor over the weekend, including at least seven confirmed dead and 100 missing, locals are finding some lighthearted relief in what is otherwise a dark situation — namely, in two mailboxes in Taipei’s Zhongshan district that have been christened the country’s newest stars after surviving high-intensity wind.

The mailboxes remained upright throughout the storm, but at a cost evident in the newly quizzical tilt of their metal heads and slant of the poles connecting them to the ground. It’s an image that netizens are exploiting for whimsical photos on Instagram and Twitter, labeled with the hashtag #郵筒, which means “#mailbox.”

The meme has spread with such ferocity that at some points early this week there was a line of people patiently waiting for a moment with the inanimate celebrities.

Philip Ong, head of the local postal system, told the Taipei Times that there are plans to turn the mailboxes into official tourist attractions, including a historical plaque and even possible t-shirts and other tie-in paraphernalia. The boxes will also be lightly refurbished and will continue to serve their original purpose, albeit rather more adored than their postal peers.

MONEY privacy

Your Facebook Photos Are Fair Game for Prosecutors

Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

A state appeals court ruling this week has big privacy implications.

A New York state court ruled Tuesday that Facebook must comply with search warrants allowing government prosecutors to sift through users’ photos, messages and personal account information as part of an investigation of Social Security fraud.

The appeals court ruling said that the social network cannot challenge search warrants for 381 users’ Facebook data, although individual defendants can move to suppress the evidence. New York law enforcement agents have used Facebook photos showing public employees riding jet skis, playing golf and performing martial arts to prove that the defendants were lying about physical disabilities, Reuters reports.

“In many cases, evidence on their Facebook accounts directly contradicted the lies the defendants told to the Social Security Administration,” a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office told Reuters.

So far, 108 people have pleaded guilty to felony charges, and they must pay back about $25 million, according to Bloomberg.

A Facebook spokesman told Reuters that the company—which has argued that the search warrants give prosecutors too much access to private information—is considering an appeal.


Tim Cook Personally Expedited This Guy’s Apple Order

Stephen Lam—Getty Images

Of course, there's a caveat.

This week, an Apple Photos user got the company to shave down a two-week wait for the delivery of prints to three days by tweeting directly at Tim Cook.

But the customer wasn’t just anyone.

The user in question is Washington Post book editor Ron Charles, a journalist with more than 27,000 followers on Twitter.

Charles wrote on the Post’s style blog Tuesday that he ordered a few dozen photos from Apple on July 19 and received a message saying the prints wouldn’t be delivered until July 31. Charles then tweeted:

Five hours later, Charles got a call from an Apple rep claiming that Tim Cook personally asked her to call about his photo order—and bumped his order delivery date up to Wednesday, July 22.

While this makes a fun (and cocktail-party-worthy) story about “customer service at the Olympic level,” as Charles put it, it’s also a smart PR move on Apple’s behalf.

Let’s see if common folk—or at least those of us with more modest Twitter followings—have any luck getting the same attention from Cook just by calling him out on Twitter.

Read next: Why I’m Returning My Apple Watch

TIME selfies

Russian Government Launches a ‘Safe Selfie’ Campaign

A man takes a "selfie" as he stands with a Ukrainian flag on a Soviet-style star re-touched with blue paint so it resembles the yellow-and-blue national colours of Ukraine, atop the spire of a building in Moscow
© Stringer . / Reuters—REUTERS A man takes a 'selfie' as he stands with a Ukrainian flag on a Soviet-style star atop the spire of a building in Moscow.

Initiative follows selfie-related deaths

Following a series of selfie-related deaths, the Russian Ministry of Interior Affairs has launched a campaign to promote safe selfie-taking practices.

The ministry has produced a practical picture booklet that advises selfie takers to avoid dangerous activities when taking photos, such as leaping across metro lines, posing for photos with tigers, playing Russian roulette, or scaling high-voltage transmission towers.

The safe selfie campaign is not as absurd as it might at first seem. Young people have a proclivity for risk seeking behaviors. Members of the Ukrainian urban climbing group Mustang Wanted, for example, have put their lives at risk by climbing some of the tallest buildings in Moscow and the Ukraine to capture selfies in extremely dangerous situations.

Each graphic in the pamphlet relays a story of someone who was killed or maimed while taking a dangerous selfie. The animation advising against climbing transmission towers, for example, comes with a short narrative about a ninth grade boy, identified only as Maxim, who was killed “after falling over 100 feet when he accidentally grabbed a live wire while taking a selfie.”

TIME apps

Why Facebook’s New Photo App Isn’t Coming Out in Europe

Views of The Facebook Inc. Logo Ahead of Earnings
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Regulators are wary of facial recognition software

Facebook rolled out a new photo-sharing app in the U.S. this week, but it won’t come out in Europe in the near future due to concerns over how it uses facial recognition technology.

The app, called Moments, allows users to share photos with each other privately based around specific events and uses facial recognition software to detect which friends are in a given photo.

The technology, which is used to offer photo tagging suggestions on Facebook proper, is automatically set to be used on all users in the U.S. However, in Europe, Facebook will be forced to make facial scanning and tagging an opt-in feature, Facebook head of policy Richard Allen told the Wall Street Journal. Moments could roll out in Europe after the company develops an opt-in process.

This is not the first time European regulators have pushed back against Facebook’s practices. Belgium is currently suing the social network over its privacy policies and the European Union as a whole are drafting a new law that would increase regulators’ power to control Facebook’s activities, along with other websites.

TIME apps

Photo Storage Showdown: Google Photos vs. Apple iCloud vs. Amazon Prime vs. Dropbox vs. Flickr

Georgetown v Syracuse
Nate Shron—Getty Images A general view of the Carrier Dome seen through a camera on an iPhone of a fan in the stands at the start of the game between the Syracuse Orange and the Georgetown Hoyas on February 23, 2013 in Syracuse, New York.

Get the big picture on storing your photos in the cloud

Smartphone cameras have been a blessing, allowing us to capture the moment, any moment — nay, almost every moment — with just the tap of the screen. But the curse that comes alongside all these photos is how they gobble up storage space not just on your handset, but also on your computer.

Part of the problem is that most digital packrats don’t delete the flotsam and jetsam of our daily lives (how long should you keep those blurry snaps of last year’s July 4th fireworks?). But the bigger issue is that the more photos we take, the more files we have. Every Instagrammed latte is another failed attempt at feeding the photo monster.

To take some of the edge off, several popular cloud-based photo storage services have popped up to help you store your precious moments. Here’s a look at five popular choices:

Google Photos

The newest pic product on the block, Google Photos seems to have taken the best of every other service and rolled them into one great offering. But it’s by no means perfect. Available on Android, iOS or through a web browser, Google Photos gives users unlimited free storage for their standard-resolution images. As smooth looking and fluid feeling as you’d expect from a Google-made app, Photos displays, organizes, and shares your pictures better than anything available. In fact, it’s the display and organization where this product really stands out. Categorizing images with People, Places, and Things tags, it uses facial recognition, GPS location, and image search capabilities to make searching your photos easier than ever before.

But the tradeoff for this incredible convenience is privacy. After uploading his photos to Google’s service, Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt had second thoughts about Google’s use of his data. Be sure to actually read the terms of service on this one before you send your pictures into the cloud.

Apple iCloud

If you’ve got any Apple handheld product, there’s a good chance that you’re already using this service (and you may not even realize it), through something called “Photo Stream.” This is representative of how convoluted and confusing Apple’s online photo storage options have become. Actually, Apple has two online photo storage solutions: Photo Stream and iCloud Photo Library. The former stores your 1,000 most recent photos in the cloud, making them accessible across all your devices for free. The latter backs up all your photos ever and is free if you only use five gigabytes of space — though who could get away with that little storage? It’s more likely that you’ll have to pay, which ranges from monthly charges of $.99 for 20 gigabytes to as high as one terabyte for $20.

There’s no comparing that to Amazon or Google’s free-for-unlimited-storage pricing, but as far as user-friendliness is concerned, iCloud’s photo storage can’t be beat — so long as you’re purely an Apple user. Integrating into the company’s line of desktop and mobile apps, the service provides almost anything you’d want from a storage service, including access to Apple’s printing service and RAW file compatibility. It even has the ability to hunt down duplicate pictures to cut down on your digital clutter.

Amazon Cloud Drive

Unlimited online photo storage is one of several lesser-known perks of Amazon Prime membership, though non-Prime customers can pay $12 a year for the same deal. Whether it’s through a web browser, a mobile app, or a desktop program, the service lets users beam their pics up to the cloud. Compatible with Android, iOS, Mac, and PC, its cross-platform nature gives users access to their full photo library wherever they are: work, home or on the go.

While the promise of an infinitely large photo collection is alluring, the big knock on this service from current users is that it’s slower than it should be. But if good things come to those who wait, this should be enough (or maybe the speed will improve). Still, Amazon does store photos in their original, full resolution, which makes the unlimited offer attractive to archivists of all stripes.

Dropbox Carousel

A longtime favorite for storing files in the cloud, Dropbox released its Carousel app last year to make it easier for users to access web-archived photos. Though it started as one of the first cloud-based storage options, Dropbox’s free offering of two gigabytes is now far under par compared to the competition. The good news, however, is that its one terabyte for $10 per month deal is a better than average value—and if you can’t fill all that space with photos of your kids, you can store other files in there as well.

Carousel excels for those who use a wide range of devices, because Dropbox is compatible with operating systems ranging from Android to Ubuntu. Additionally, Carousel plays nicely with most social networks, letting users post images and videos online without a hitch. And sharing photos with others is as easy with Carousel as it is with Dropbox, which is to say, you can send over secure download links. If recipients also have Carousel, it’s a much better experience, keeping the photo transfer within the app. But since this application isn’t linked to an operating system like iOS or Android, it’s unlikely that you’ll encounter that coincidence.


Yahoo has been working hard to rebuild its image in recent years. One way it’s done that is by making changes to Flickr. A longtime favorite of photographers, Flickr has been storing people’s photos online since 2004, perhaps longer than any other popular service. And because it’s been around so long, Flickr has a lot of features packed into its offering, from an excellent image searching tool (type in “flower” and it will find all your best buds) to in-the-cloud editing options. In order to attract new users, Flickr announced last year that it’s offering a free terabyte of storage for every user. The free option is ad-supported, which means in addition to your selfies, you’ll also be looking at glam shots of models and products, but that’s the price of gratis.

TIME Mobile

Here’s the 1 Trick to Getting People to Like Your Photos

Flickr study shows that filters increase engagement

Are you the kind of person who proudly attaches a #NoFilter hashtag to your photos online so that people know the pictures are authentic? Well, you’re missing out on a whole lot of likes, comments and other Millennial manna.

And now there’s data to prove it.

Researchers at Yahoo, in partnership with a professor at Georgia Tech, have published a new study analyzing how filters impact engagement on Yahoo’s photo-sharing site Flickr. According to the study, filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed than non-filtered photos and 45% more likely to be commented on. Photos with filters that project warm colors tend to drive more engagement than cooler filters (though we’re unconvinced anyone ever “likes” photos filtered with Kelvin, the overly orange tint available on Instagram)

By interviewing photographers, researchers also discovered different motivations for using filters. Serious photographers use filters to correct coloring errors or bring attention to specific objects. More casual photo-takers, meanwhile, use filters as a means of personalization or to achieve a general “vintage” feel.

While the study focused on Flickr users, it’s safe to say the findings apply to Instagram as well—in fact, more than half of the photos researchers analyzed had been cross-posted from Instagram to Flickr. So next time you’re trying to ensure that your latest picture will get that coveted 11th like, embrace the filter (but again, please, don’t use Kelvin).

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