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What To Do With The 5 Billion Photos You Took This Summer

Your phone is probably brimming with a ridiculous number of photos. Here are the best apps and strategies for storing, organizing, and even turning them into postcards.

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photo storage smartphone

It’s been said that the best camera you have is the one that’s on you, which likely means the camera in your smartphone. But what do you do with all those photos after you’ve taken them? Whether you have an iPhone or an Android phone, here are some tips for storing and sorting your pics — and getting them off your phone and out into the world.

Back it up

Keeping all your photos and videos on your smartphone will eat up space, fast. Back them up off-site, either to the cloud or to an external drive. Cloud storage is easy — your device will automatically sync, so you don’t need to remember to back up your files. If you’re on an iPhone, use iCloud and then select “optimize photo storage” on your phone. Your first 5GB of storage is free; depending on how much extra space you need, iCloud will cost you $1.29 to $12.99 a month. If you’re on an Android device, back up your photos to Google Photos. The first 15GB of storage is free; extra storage space costs anywhere from $2.79 to $139.99 a month.

photo storage smartphone

Your first 5GB of storage on Apple’s iCloud is free. Photo, Apple.

You may be familiar with the concept of using an external hard drive for your computer files, and the same can be done for your phone. Check out the SanDisk Connect Wireless stick, available from 16GB all the way up to 256GB. You don’t even need to plug it in — the device connects to your phone wirelessly and downloads the latest photos automatically. Leave it in your purse and let it do its thing. This is a great option for people who want to avoid the monthly cost of cloud storage.

Get organized

If you haven’t looked at your photos app in a while, check it out. Both Google Photos (Android) and Photos (iPhone) received major updates earlier this year. They now use facial recognition, location detection and other technology to categorize and sort your photos into smart galleries. You no longer have to scroll through your images in chronological order. Try searching by people, places, events and things.

You can also take your photo organization one step further by creating custom albums.

The Photos app uses facial recognition, location detection and other technology to sort your photos into smart galleries. Photo, Apple.

The Photos app now sorts your photos into smart galleries. Photo, Apple.

Harness the power of apps

The EyeEm app (iPhone and Android) will analyze your photos using artificial intelligence, and recommend the best shots for sharing online.  The Duplicate Photos Fixer app (iPhone, Android) will scan your photo library for duplicate or similar images. If you take many photos hoping that one of them will work, this will help you find the unneeded extras and get rid of them. The Gallery Doctor app (iPhone, Android) will scan for duplicates and also help you find bad photos — ones that are blurry, or have bad lighting — and mark them for deletion.

Get those photos off your phone and into the world

Sharing digital copies of your photos on social media is great, but nothing beats photos you can hold in your hand. Consider printing your photos with the adorable HP Sprocket photo printer, or order high quality, thick prints online. Order magnets right off your phone using the Social Print Studio app, or turn the photos you’ve favourited into a fast-and-easy photo book using the Chatbooks app. For something different, consider using the Postagram app, which will print and mail one of your photos as a postcard.