Flickr Photo App: 1,000 GB Storage Free + iCloud Replacement

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flickrapp2Photo site Flickr recently updated their iPhone and Android apps. This just happened to coincide with me running out of space both on my Apple iCloud and Dropbox accounts, so I took another look at the Yahoo-owned site and found it actually fit my needs at a great price point – free!

As they say, the best camera is the one that you have with you. Since the birth of our first child, we’ve quickly racked up over 20 GB of pics on our phones alone, and much more from our point-and-shoot. iCloud only gives iPhone users 5 GB of free storage, so I found myself paying $40 a year for the 25 GB upgrade (with a discounted iTunes gift card of course) but ate through that as well. Since I keep both USB hard drive and online cloud backups, I was also running out of room even on my free Dropbox account. I used to pay for an unlimited photo service called Everpix, but they shut down last year.

In comparison, Flickr offers everyone 1,000 GB of free photo and video storage at full resolution with no caps or image compression. (I figure that should last us until kindergarten…) 100 GB of space runs $100 a year on both Dropbox and iCloud – I know there are cheaper options but these have the most convenient sync software.

flickrapp4My favorite iCloud feature was the ability to automatically and continuously backup the photos on my phone. Nothing to remember, just take pictures. With their updated free app, Flickr can also auto-upload and sync your iPhone photos taken with the default Camera app. (I’m assuming the Android app has a similar feature.) It doesn’t appear to upload any of your old pictures automatically, just the ones taken after you install the app and enable the Auto Sync feature (see screenshot). Auto-uploaded pictures are always set to Private by default (viewable by you only).

The new Flickr app also has several new features like an in-app camera with Instagram-like filters, sharing feeds, and better photo editing tools. After I manually back up the old photos, I plan to downgrade my iCloud account back to the free 5 GB level.

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  1. You might also want to check out PictureLife, as it provides a Mac-based uploader that watches a folder, and uploads all your photos (including those you keep in iPhoto or Aperture).

    Here’s my photo management workflow. This article is based on Everpix, which not long ago went out of business. Fortunately, PictureLife was a drop-in replacement.

  2. Stacy I. says:

    I really like the Flickr site and app too, and the 1terabyte of free space is a great bonus! I’m very interested to hear your process for backing up your photos to your usb. I’m looking into ways to backup mine from flikr, but haven’t decided yet. I’d also like to setup my EyeFi card on my camera to automatically transfer my photos somewhere on the web.

  3. I think this is still true, but Google+ offers free unlimited picture storage and any photos can auto uploaded with your phone ( There is a size restriction for both video and photo, but I think most phone cameras are currently below these totals.

  4. Jonathan,
    Have you done any investigation into privacy issues? I think some of these sites “own” your pictures once you upload them. I wouldn’t want a picture of my kid popping up in one of their advertisements someday.
    If not, is there some other “catch” to give away 1TB of free cloud data?

  5. Howard Roark says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    One thing to also consider is that you may not be able to download those uploaded pictures at full resolution? Im trying to figure our this same question as we just had our first child and have taken sooooo many pictures. Also I dont think you can download in batch just one pic at a time.

  6. Sooraj Maharjan says:

    Flickr’s offer is quite unbeatable in terms of space, but you could expand your Dropbox allocation three ways. First, you could opt for Camera uploads, an autosync feature which Flickr just added (now I think it’s called carousel). Second, you could use your college email address if you can still access it, and third by referring to all your friends or non-friends (one way to do it is spam all your friends with a Dropbox link, and if even 1 out of a 100 installs it, you get 500MB). You could get up to a 100GB with all three of these options.

    Autosync was the feature that put me off of Flickr, because before it didn’t offer it. Thanks for the post Jonathan … now I’m back :). Oh! and I can confirm about Android too. Once you take a pic, it syncs instantly. Nice add on Flickr … even though late in the game.

  7. Flickr Free has ads, that is how they are monetizing – unless you are willing to pay for a subscription which is ad free for $49.99 a year, or getting ad free 2tb account for 499.99 a year. Luckily those who got Flickr PRO before the plans changed are grandfathered in at UNLIMITED photo and video storage for just $24.95/year. If you have the Flickr PRO account, never let it go for god’s sake!!

  8. Bobson says:

    Actually Google’s size restriction (2048px long edge) means every rear camera picture from every iphone will count against the limit unless you switch away from default full size upload

    By my math you’ve probably taken over 10,000 pictures of your young daughter already on your phones alone. Instead of finding new places to accommodate that many files I would strongly recommend being more selective in which photos you take and keep. Not that storage isn’t getting cheaper by the day but you are diluting the pool of quality photos. Five years from now, for example, you’re not going to want to sift through that much chaff to get to the wheat. I say this as a fellow parent who loves taking pictures.

    • I know, it is a problem… sometimes it is so hard to hit delete even when it’s the same photo with just slightly different facial expressions… I just imagine one day when they are all off to college that I will go back and just go through them all slowly.

      Our current solution is to buy those photo books from Shutterfly, Apple, etc every 6 months or so. They force us to pick the best photos and keep them in a physical format. The good news is that now gifts for the grandparents for nearly every holiday (Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s/Father’s day) are super-easy! Well, not super-easy since they take a lot of work but scalable. πŸ™‚

    • Reply to a 2 year old post, but more relevant now compared to then. It “used” to be hard to sift through haystack of pictures to find a needle like photo, but technology has changed in recent years. Now, thanks to machine learning one is able to find photos easily as you’d find files or keywords in a document. Algorithms are getting better and better at recognizing objects in a picture, and hence finding a picture of your daughter-smiling, or riding-a-pony-during-xmas isn’t that hard anymore. I agree though that deleting photos that are blurred or redundant will help this search tool too. Bottom line though, if you have space keep shooting πŸ™‚ coz u can’t have enuf pics of ur lil one … I know.

  9. Delano MacMahon says:

    Give me my 1000GB please

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