Photo Sharing alternatives

In launching this new web site to AMUG members at our June 4 meeting, I listed some options to consider for sharing photos on the web, for those of us who had been using Apple’s very elegant and user-friendly MobileMe Gallery service – one of the casualties, along with iDisk and web site hosting, of Apple’s transition to iCloud and consequent dumping of those services on 30 June.

Sure, there is Google’s Picasa, Yahoo! Flickr®, Photobucket, Instagram, Facebook and others, along with photo book services like Snapfish, Blurb and Adobe Photoshop.com. I recommended using a WordPress blog, with its comprehensive selection of themes, some of which are well suited to photo blogs.

But I overlooked the easiest and most Mac-like of them all – Dropbox. I knew about Dropbox for file storage in the cloud (free up to 2GB, then a low-cost subscription service for extra capacity) – but was not aware how easy it is to create Dropbox photo galleries. Any folders created within the Dropbox default ‘Photos’ folder automatically and magically become photo galleries – you just need to create a subfolder for each Album, then drag and drop photos into those sub-folders from iPhoto on your Mac or PC, or upload from an iOS device (Dropbox syncs between your computer and devices, just like iCloud). It’s a very easy and painless process, and user navigation through the images is clear and intuitive.

I haven’t figured out yet how to display the images in chronological order. And using filenames as captions, some get truncated and they all have .jpg on the end. So Dropbox Galleries are not perfect, but certainly more private and a better choice I think than the others mentioned above.

Late mail: iOS 6 and Shared Photo Streams, announced at WWDC and due for release in Spring 2012, might be a viable alternative – let’s see what that brings.

Ken Driver 

Postscript 21 May 2018: A more recent post explaining how to share files on Dropbox can be found on the Cloudwards blog here: www.cloudwards.net/how-to-share-files-on-dropbox/.