As the owner of a new internet-enabled phone, I have been looking at various ways I can update my favourite online services using the phone’s built-in email function. If I am out and about, and I want to update something, the easiest way to do it would be to send an email with any images as an attachment. Uploading to the actual website with a mobile phone is a lot more difficult than you might think (little buttons, little keys, big fingers!)
But who offers such a service? These tools are not normally offered in a very prominent place and you have to do some digging on each site for them. After some browsing, I found 5 popular sites which offer secret email addresses for you to update while on the go. There are probably many more but here are 5 of the top ones that a lot of people normally use.
Flickr – Send Photos via Email
Flickr is the first service I found that supplies secret updating email addresses. If you take a photo with your phone and you want to directly send it to your Flickr photostream then doing so is extremely easy.
Just go here to see your own updating address (Flickr log-in is required). Then add that address to your email address book (you can even ask Flickr to send the address to your email address book if you are too lazy!). You can also specify any default tags you want added to emailed-in photos. Since I will always be using the email function with my mobile phone, I chose to have added #frommobile with these pictures.
Then in the future, when you take a photo with your phone :
- open a new email window
- add your secret email address
- add the photos as attachments
- put the desired title of the photo in the email subject line
- put any photo description in the body of the email
- tags can be put in the subject line or in the body of the email using the tags: title.
Or for those of you who like graphical explanations :
When I tested it, it took 15 minutes for photos to arrive on my Flickr photostream. So it isn’t an instant thing. But if you are out and away from your computer anyway, 15 minutes won’t make any difference.
If you think your secret upload email address has been revealed to others, you can also easily reset the address by pressing a button on your Flickr page.
As soon as the picture(s) arrive at Flickr, the site even offers to put them on your blog automatically. Is there anything Flickr won’t do for you?
YouTube – Upload Videos
This one is a bit redundant for me as my Android phone already has YouTube uploading built in. But for those of you who haven’t got this feature by default, here’s a quick and easy way to send your videos to YouTube.
By going here (again, log-in required), you will see your secret uploading YouTube email address. Now whenever you want to send a video to the site, just attach it as an email attachment and send it to your secret address.
Be aware with this one that virtually all email services have an attachment size limit. Videos are normally huge in size so unless you keep the video clip small, you may have trouble getting your email service to accept it. So no uploading Ben-Hur! Keep it short, simple and small.
Facebook – Share Photos with Friends
The Facebook one seems to only allow the uploading of photos so no status updates or poking with this address. But if you regularly upload lots of drunken party photos to Facebook then go here and find your secret Facebook uploading address. Speed is of the essence if you want your boss to find out why you really took the day off sick.
Blogger – Post To Your Blogger Blog
Blogger has two methods of letting you post content via your mobile, and of course, me being me, the first method didn’t work at all! Typical.
The first method, which you can read about here, involves authorising your phone to send content to your blog. But when I tried, I got an email back saying that my “device was not authorised”. Wait a minute – a Google Android phone is not authorised to send content to a Google-owned blogging company? Spot the irony there.
The second method is to set up a secret blogging email address. Unlike the other services, you can choose what the second half of the address will be (so you can choose a secret word or phrase that only you will remember). You can set this up by logging into Blogger then going to settings–>email & mobile.
The title of the blog post goes in your email subject line and all blog images go as email attachments.
I couldn’t do a post like this without mentioning Posterous, the blogging site which seems to be doing surprisingly well. The whole concept of Posterous is that you email in everything and it will be automatically posted for you – text, photos, mp3’s, videos, documents, the lot.
Just set up your blog, associate an email address with it and then send your blog entries with that email address to email@example.com. It will then shortly appear on your Posterous page. The simplicity of it is winning over a lot of bloggers and I have to admit, I am starting to weaken.
So there are 5 services where you can email in your updates. Do you know of any more? If so, let us know all about them in the comments so I can update my email address book…