Back in April, I listed PhotoSync as one of the five ways to sync iPhone photos between other devices. Because the iPhone photo syncing process has never been that easy, even with Apple’s Photo Stream feature, I often rely on PhotoSync, especially when I don’t want to haul out Aperture just to get at a few photos in my iCloud account. In addition, not only can photos be synced, but PhotoSync ($1.99) can sync videos as well with a single tap.
Now at version 2.0 PhotoSync is even more powerful. It includes the ability to automatically transfer photos and videos when you arrive at a designated location, such as your home. It also features syncing with a range of cloud and online sharing services and compatibility with wireless SD cards.
Read on to find out what else makes this a very handy app to have around.
Getting Set Up
In order to wirelessly transfer photos and videos, you will need to download PhotoSync on your supported devices. For the Mac or PC, you need to install the free PhotoSync client and configure it with your iPhone and other iOS devices.
You will need to select a folder in Finder where you want PhotoSync to transfer your files. You can select by default to have the PhotoSync folder open at the end of the transfer, which is a nice little time saver. If you prefer, you can have images and video imported into your iPhoto or Aperture library instead. Likewise, you can send photos and videos from Mac or PC to your iOS device with PhotoSync installed. With the PhotoSync app running on your mobile device, go back to your Mac and drag your desired images or videos to the desktop PhotoSync icon in your menu bar or Dock to initiate the transfer. The PhotoSync Companion for Windows is accessed in the Windows Taskbar, in the bottom right corner next to the clock. You should read this support page for more information about the Windows Companion.
If this sound like too much work, PhotoSync 2.0 now makes the process even easier. You can set up the mobile app to auto transfer images and videos when you arrive home, or at any other designated geographical location. Both the desktop and mobile PhotoSync apps need to be running in order for the auto transfer to occur. This process is similar to that used by the popular Eye-Fi SD card that transfers images from your camera over Wi-Fi.
You can add more than one location to the app and device, and the transfer will take place when you arrive at the designated location and when Wi-Fi is detected. Unfortunately though, unlike Eye-Fi, the auto transfer does not take place while you’re taking photos at a location. For this, you will need to use the web browser or manual sync feature that I cover below.
On the one hand, while Apple’s Photo Stream automatically uploads all your new photos on your iOS device, with PhotoSync you can selectively upload files in your Camera Roll or other Photo Library albums. After making your selection, you can choose which device you want to transfer content to. Simply tap the red button on the top-right corner and select the device, which must be turned on (and have PhotoSync installed).
PhotoSync’s user interface makes the process even faster. There are options to select or deselect all content, as well as options for selecting only photos, and another to select only videos. Unlike with the regular iPhone Camera Roll, you don’t have to go hunting for your videos amidst your roll of photos.
For even quicker transfers, you can also set up Quick Transfer in PhotoSync, which means that when you press and hold the red Sync button, it will instantly transfer your selected content directly to a pre-configured Quick Transfer device. If you don’t select files first, PhotoSync will simply transfer only new photos and videos added to your Camera Roll. It even remembers which files it has already synced to a device.
PhotoSync also supports sharing and displaying your iOS images and videos via local Wi-Fi network, but not publicly over the Internet. You will need to enable web sharing in the Preferences panel of the PhotoSync mobile app, and it’s up to you to decide if authentication is required. This sharing feature will display the Camera Roll content as well as other albums, and you can also select files that you want displayed.
From the web browser you can download content easily from any location on your network, which makes it easy to share with a whole house full of devices. The web display updates as you shoot and add files to your iPhone or other device, which is pretty nifty too.
While the mobile app versions of Dropbox and Google Drive can be configured to automatically transfer all your new photos and videos to respective cloud accounts, you might want to use PhotoSync to transfer selected content to one or more of your cloud accounts, include SmugMug, SugarSync, Flickr and the below.
This feature is also useful for making backups of your images and videos when you’re out shooting.
If you use a supported Wi-Fi transfer SD card like the Toshiba FlashAir or Transcend Wi-Fi, you can wirelessly transfer those photos to your iOS device with PhotoSync installed.
Unfortunately, this feature doesn’t work with the Eye-Fi SD Card, but there is an Eye-Fi iOS app you can use to make the transfer between your camera and your iOS device.
PhotoSync is a great solution for heavy iPhone camera users who want more than one way to sync photos and videos between their devices. While I wish PhotoSync had a built-in camera feature so that photos could be taken and synced directly in the app, I still think the auto transfer, web browser, and video upload features fill a void missing in Apple’s current media syncing setup.
Download: PhotoSync ($1.99)
What do you think of PhotoSync? Do you prefer it or any alternatives to using Apple’s Photo Stream? Add your thoughts, below.