Cloud Photos Sync – Where is the cross platform solution

I am a Mac User and have an iPhone and an Android Phone.
This being said my dilemma is to get photos taken on either phone into one single library and have them accessible from both phones as well as on my Mac.

I tried a few services but still do not have any satisfying solution.

iCloud Photo is insanely good if you live within the Apple eco system. But it doesn’t work on Android sadly.

Google Photos is great, but only on your mobile phone. There is no native photo app for either Windows or Mac which is a huge downturn for me. You can access your photos through Google Drive though but again, I want a photos app like the one from Apple where I can organize my photos.
A shame that Apple doesn’t allow the Photos app to sync third party photo storage services such as Google Photos, Flickr and the likes.

Next there is the new kid on the block, Upthere Home.
They offer clients for iOS and Android as well as Desktop Apps for Windows and Mac.
Your photos are always in the cloud. So it won’t take up much space on your phone. When you look at a photo, a screen optimized version will be stored. The problem is, that the same applies to the Desktop App. So you never have your photos on your computer. This is quite an issue as you therefore can’t make backups of your photo library. Bad idea. They should at least give an option.
The Desktop client I tested (for Mac) is rather awkward. Extremely slow uploads (I am in Thailand with a 50/10 Fiber Optic connection) and no features at all You can’t even have folders or albums. Just like it has been coded during lunch time. I would not even call it an app.

If I could give them only one suggestion it would be to trash the desktop app and start from the scratch. This desktop app is nothing anyone ever wants to use.
If you are still interested, you can find them here.

One more critical thing is that only the iOS Photos app can do background sync of your photos. Neither Google Photos nor Upthere Home are allowed to upload your photos in the background unless you keep your screen unlocked. I wouldn’t suggest this.

My current workflow
On my Android phone I use Google Drive to sync new photos to my Mac and then import them there into the Photos app which syncs with my iCloud photo library. This is rather cumbersome and of course I do not have access to my full photo library from the Android phone as they reside within iCloud.
But until now I couldn’t find a proper cross platform cloud based photo sync and storage service with desktop apps allowing offline sync and photo management. Maybe I am just asking for too much.

Google Photos
+ Works well on Android
+ Clean Web Interface
– No background uploading of your photos on iPhone
– No native app for Windows or Mac

iCloud Photos
+ Works great if you are within the Apple Eco System
+ Awesome Desktop app for Mac
– No apps for Windows and Android

Upthere Home
+ Reliable sync
+ App for iOS and Android
+ Desktop App for Windows and Mac
– No offline sync with the Desktop App
– Desktop App with very limited functionality

+ Cross Plattform Sync
+ Auto upload which works reliable on both, Apple and Android
– You can’t just attach a photo and send to someone. Instead it creates a link which is annoying. Google Drive at least asks you whether to share a link or attach the photo.
– No photos app for Windows or Mac
– No tiered pricing plans. Either $99 for 1TB or just 2 GB for free.

Google Drive
+ Cross Plattform Sync
+ Auto upload which works reliable on both, Apple and Android
+ Asks whether to share a link or attach the photo when sending to someone
– No photos app for Windows or Mac

I never really liked Flickr and the lack of a desktop app made it a no go anyway. And since Yahoo! has been sold I would be worried that Verizon will shut it down.

How do you handle photos sync between iOS and Android? Please let us know in the comment section below.

1 Response

  1. Billy says:

    It’s pretty sad that we can’t have one (or more) killer app between all of the companies out there. Carousel was good with its Hidden folder option, which I’m sure is a must for a lot of people. But instead of integrating it, Dropbox basically killed off this handy app.

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