TIME Photos

Feel Good Friday: 20 Fun Photos to Jump-Start Your Weekend

TGIF! From pillow fights and elephant showers to Batkid throwing the opening pitch and a 110-year-old man kissing his wife, we're sure these photos will be a fun start to your weekend.

TIME Technologizer

With Carousel App, Dropbox Wants to Preserve All Your Photos, Forever

Gentry Underwood
Harry McCracken / TIME Dropbox's Gentry Underwood demos the company's new Carousel app at a media event in San Francisco on April 10, 2014

The online storage kingpin is finally taking digital images seriously.

For the last few years, I’ve been dumping most of the digital images I care about — including decades-old scanned family photos — into my Dropbox account.

It was a strange decision in some respects, since Dropbox has had very few photo-specific features: My treasured pictures weren’t much more than a list of files with unintelligible names such as IMG_013.JPG. But they felt safe there, and I figured that Dropbox would eventually bring more ambition to photo management.

And now it has. At a media event in San Francisco this morning, Dropbox co-founder and CEO Drew Houston announced that the company has 275 million users and almost 700 employees. Then a bunch of those employees began unveiling a bunch of items in rapid succession, including collaborative features for people who store Microsoft Office documents in Dropbox and new versions of the company’s Mailbox email app for Android and computers. But it saved its biggest announcement until the end. It’s Carousel, a new iOS and Android app that lets you keep and share all your photos — stored, naturally, in your Dropbox account.

Both versions of the app are supposed to go live today; if you can’t find them in the iOS or Google Play store, try Carousel.com. (Dropbox acquired that domain name from a company that repairs merry-go-rounds.)

The fact that Carousel is a stand-alone app rather than a set of new features within the existing Dropbox apps is a continuation of a strategy that started becoming apparent when the company acquired Mailbox last year: It’s divvying up all the ways that people need to store important stuff into a portfolio of interlocking apps and services. The approach is also reminiscent of what Facebook is doing by creating apps such as Paper and buying WhatsApp.

Visually, at least, Carousel reminds me of Everpix, an innovative photo-sharing service that aimed to store all your photos for life, but which died when the startup behind it ran into money problems last winter. Carousel automatically groups your photos into events and lets you zip through them at a rapid clip, even though they’re stored in the cloud rather than on your device. (As you take additional snapshots with your phone, they get uploaded automatically.)

The sharing features look neat, and are a photo-specific variant of the capabilities that help make Dropbox itself so popular. You can select hundreds of photos (and videos) at a time, then push them out to other Carousel users, who can then save them at full resolution in their own Dropboxes. This will appeal to folks who are already Dropbox addicts, but I bet it’ll also bring the service to new users.

For now, Carousel doesn’t do all that much. That’s also reminiscent of Mailbox, which started out trying to bring a fresh take to the basics of email, and has been gradually adding additional features. Dropbox’s Gentry Underwood, who demoed Carousel onstage at today’s event, told me that the company has a roadmap of additional capabilities it’s working on, and that it’s also working on a version that’s usable on Windows PCs and Macs. (For now, all the photos you store in Carousel will be available from within Dropbox’s apps.)

Carousel is free, and leverages whatever Dropbox storage you have. (The company starts new users off with 2GB, doles out additional space for referrals and offers paid accounts starting at 100GB for $99 a year.) I asked Underwood whether the company had ruled out the idea of making money by targeting users with ads, and though he said that such decisions are made by others at the company, he told me that it’s not part of the plan: “Advertising is not something we’ve approached — at Dropbox, our customer is our user.”

In theory, you’d think that by 2014, some other company would have solved photo storage and sharing. But although there are an infinite number of ways to do it, from Flickr to Facebook, there’s no definitive, market-dominating contender — especially for the images you want to hold onto forever. “It’s a very hard problem to solve,” says Underwood. “There’s a lot of pieces you have to get right to get that simple, delightful experience. The sheer volume of content we’re processing is mind-boggling. It’s more of a challenge than most small teams are up for.”

As with every other photo-storing service, when I think about Carousel, I start to wonder if it’ll be around for decades, as you’d want any repository for your most important memories to be. I make no predictions. But Dropbox is in a better place to offer this sort of service than most other companies. Unlike photo-centric startups such as Everpix, it’s a well-funded, established business that’s in no danger of collapsing. And it makes money by charging users, setting it apart from advertising-dependent companies like Facebook and Google, which tend to see your digital possessions as big data they can mine.

More thoughts once I’ve used Carousel to explore all the photos that are already sitting in my Dropbox. If you try the app, I’d love to know your impressions.

TIME Photos

Feel Good Friday: 15 Fun Photos to Start Your Weekend

Try not to shout "TGIF" from your desk. From wedding kisses to a kissing festival, we're sure these photos will be a great start to your weekend.

TIME celebrity

Kim Kardashian Attacked By An Elephant Mid-Selfie

Troll elephant

During her trip to Thailand, Kim Kardashian was hanging out with a giant elephant, and she did what any of us would do: she took a selfie with it. Or at least, she attempted to take a selfie with it. The elephant decided to blow air out of his massive trunk, sending Kardashian into a panicky fit.

It was awesome.

(h/t Us Weekly)


Through Don Draper’s Eyes: A Tour of the Time & Life Building of the 1960s

TIME brings to you a rare insider’s tour of the Time & Life Building in the 1960s

In anticipation of the Mad Men season 6 premiere on AMC this Sunday night, TIME brings to you a rare insider’s tour of the Time & Life Building in the 1960s—the setting of everyone’s favorite mid-century ad agency, Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. The Time & Life Building, designed by the Rockefeller family’s architects, Harrison & Abramowitz & Harris, opened in 1959, meaning that Don Draper et al. were some of its earliest (fictional) occupants. Time Inc. magazines like TIME, Fortune, People and Sports Illustrated still call the building home—but it must be said that, six decades later, hardly anything seen there today can match the sleek, ambitious style that defined the place, and the people who worked there, when 1271 Avenue of the Americas first opened its doors.

TIME social

Twitter Now Lets You Tag People in Photos – You Can Add 4 Photos to Each Tweet, Too

twitter photos

The social network has added a new feature to let users tag up to 10 friends in photos. It's also launched a feature to let iPhone users upload multiple photos - up to four - in a Tweet and plans to bring the capability to the Android app and to Twitter.com

Twitter is getting a little more photo-happy, adding the ability to tag up to 10 Twitter users in an image.

If you’re not keen on the idea of being tagged in OPTs (other people’s tweets – feel free to use it in casual conversation), you’re able to toggle your tagability under your account settings. Tagging someone in an image doesn’t count against your 140-character message limit, either.

And finally, you can now add multiple images to a tweet – up to four at a time. The feature is only available on the iPhone right now, but it’ll roll out to the Android app and to Twitter.com in the not too distant future. Twitter points out that you’ll be able to view multiple-image tweets on any platform, though.

Photos just got more social [Twitter]

TIME video

30-Second Tech Trick: How to Take the Best Selfies

How to check your light, set up your shot and ultimately do what's in everyone's best interests. Here's the 30-second tech trick for taking better pictures of yourself

TIME Africa

Pistorius Vomits Upon Seeing Images of Dead Girlfriend During Murder Trial

Oscar Pistorius at the Pretoria High Court on March 13, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa.
Getty Images Oscar Pistorius at the Pretoria High Court on March 13, 2014, in Pretoria, South Africa.

The double-amputee Olympian, on trial in South Africa for the murder of model Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013, vomited after gruesome images of her body shortly after he shot her were inadvertently shown in the courtroom

The murder trial of South African olympian Oscar Pistorius turned gruesome again Thursday, when images displayed of his former girlfriend shortly after her death prompted the double-amputee known as “Blade Runner” to vomit in court.

The photos of Reeva Steenkamp appeared briefly on a number of TV screens as part of the prosecution’s case, seemingly by accident as a police official was moving through various images, the Guardian reports. They shocked Steenkamp’s supporters in the courtroom and made Pistorius, who has frequently appeared anguished and sick during the trial, distraught once again.

Pistorius is facing murder charges and the possibility of life in prison if he is found guilty. Prosecutors say he murdered his girlfriend after a fight, but Pistorius says he killed her by accident by shooting his gun through a bathroom door at what he thought was an intruder.


TIME video

30-Second Tech Trick: How to Take a Screenshot on Your iPhone

Whatever you're looking at on your iPhone's screen can be captured as an image to be shared with others. Here's how.

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