Like it or not, it looks as though the direction and future of computer storage will be in the cloud. Dropbox has nearly replaced the internal Documents folder on my Mac, and more than half of the music I listen to is streamed from Rdio.com. Apple has also upped the ante with its new iOS 5 iCloud and Photo Stream features and services.
Photo Stream automatically uploads all of the photos you take using your iPhone or iPad camera to your Apple-enabled account, and then syncs those photos to your other Apple supported devices, including iPhoto and Aperture on your Mac. But a newly released app and service called Everpix takes off where Photo Stream stands still.
The Everpix app, developed by 33cube, Inc. uploads and syncs all of your photos from your iPhone camera roll to your online Everpix account where they are chronologically organized. The upload process automatically takes place after you launch the app. You don’t have to tap and open the camera roll inside the app in order for pictures to be synced.
Unlike Photo Stream, Everpix provides you with an online gallery for your photos. You’re not limited to viewing your synced photos in iPhoto or other Apple devices.
Everpix also actually removes individual photos from your online account that you delete from your iPhone camera roll. With Photo Stream, deleting individual photos is not yet possible. You have to disable the feature in order to clear all photos from your iOS device, and then re-enable it to start using it again.
Everpix also goes further than Photo Stream by allowing you to post photos to your Facebook account – but not your Twitter account – from within the app.
Though the upload and syncing process automatically takes place, it would useful if you could take photos directly from within the app rather than having to launch the app to start the process. Also, after you delete photos from your iOS camera roll they automatically get removed from your Everpix account. There doesn’t seem to be a way to tell the service to keep selected photos in your online Everpix account, though they are removed from say your iPhone camera.
In addition to being a useful mobile app, Everpix also provides a desktop client, Mac Uploader, which enables you to upload photos from anywhere on your Mac, including your iPhoto and Aperture libraries. These uploads of course get automatically synced to the Everpix app on your iOS device(s), similar to how its done with Photo Stream.
However, though Everpix provides unlimited storage space for uploading all your photos, you can’t selectively choose which photos or albums you want directly uploaded from your photo libraries.
If enabled, Everpix will automatically upload all the photos from the sources you check. It will even do the same if enabled for all the photos added to your desktop or Pictures folder. This can be a useful option, but it appears that online storage space will be limited once the app and service get beyond the beta stage.
Your online Everpix account includes additional features for syncing and sharing photos with Instagram, Flickr, and Picasa accounts. You can also set up and confirm Everpix to pull all the photos sent in your designated email account. Again, however, it appears as though Everpix syncs all your photos from the account you connect it to. This was was certainly the case when it synced all the photos in my Instagram account.
While this full account sync may be a good way to have your photos in one place, it might not fare well for those who have several hundred or even thousands of photos on a designated account, if ultimately there will be limitations with Everpix storage.
More Sharing Features
By default, when you upload photos to Everpix they are set to private. You can of course select individual photos or a collection of photos and make them public. Only the people who receive the link to your selected photos will be able to view them. These public links features are similar to other online photo sharing sites, but Everpix has added something unique.
Everpix includes an experimental featured called Assisted Curation that will detect and hide poorly shot photos that you upload–e.g. ones that are blurry or too dark or blown out. This process is not done automatically. You have to activate and apply the Assisted Curation which is done with a single pass through one or more of your open photos to see if any should be hidden. I tested it on two blurry photos and it did indeed work.
You can also manually select and hide (and unhide) photos in a batch before making the rest public.
These unique features, plus the online gallery puts Everpix a cut above Apple’s Photo Stream, especially because Apple’s Photo Stream doesn’t provide an online gallery as part of your iCloud account.
I did however experience problems with Everpix when I first used it. The app kept crashing after I used it a few times. I ended up deleting and reinstalling it on my iPhone. Since the second installation I haven’t experienced crashing. During my initial testing the Everpix site was sometimes very slow to upload my photos. By the time this review is published, the developers may have worked out these problems.
I like Everpix as an alternative to Photo Stream, though I wish I could open the iPhone camera from within the app. But let me know what you think of this, or similar ones like it.