iOS Backup Practices for the Digital Hoarder

I am late to the party, but with just over 1500 photos on my iPhone 4, it became time to setup a true local back-up mechanism for my Camera Roll as well as accessible cloud storage. While my device has iCloud Backup enabled, any local accessibility of my photos and backing them up has been limited to:

  1. My laptop’s copy of My Photo Stream, which (as I understand it) is intended only to store photos for 30 days, and only up to 1000 photos.
  2. The semi-occasional manual copy of files whenever my iPhone is plugged into my laptop. (See what I just did there?)

Via Daring Fireball’s link to this post, I heard about Dropbox’s Camera Upload feature:  On iOS, if you enable the Camera Upload feature in Dropbox, your phone will automatically upload photos from the phone to a Camera Upload folder on your Dropbox account. As I understand it, any photo (new or old) will be transferred to Dropbox if it has not yet been transferred.  Best of all, Dropbox will increase this camera-only storage by free 500MB increments up to 3GB as you need the space, as their website explains.

And now, what perhaps is the bigger takeaway…

If you use this technique to backup all media on your device’s Camera Roll, the highest iPhone storage tiers are probably not necessary for average users. Similarly, with an empty Camera Roll, there is probably less of a need for the average user to purchase additional iCloud storage space.

(Though if I were to rid myself of laggy iOS 7 pains on my iPhone 4, and made the leap to an iPhone 5S, the value of having an empty camera roll *and* the 64GB storage tier would be best suited for audio and video storage. The first place I always go to make room on my phone is to old tracks on the FourTrack app.)

This post is part of the thread: My Digital Backup Strategy – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.