MyShoebox for Android and iOS backs up your photos for free, for life

Toronto-based startup MyShoebox has taken a well-worn idea and made a great product out of it. The problem of photo consolidation is very real; most cloud storage providers give you some way to upload those photos from both mobile and desktop, but few do anything beyond being a dumb repository.

MyShoebox is a new entry into the space, and advertises free photo storage, from any device, for life. It has clients for Android, iOS, Windows and OS X, with a Windows Phone version coming soon, and the service does its one thing very, very well.

On Android it allows background uploading of photos with granular quality — it uploads lower-quality photos over the cellular network by default, with high-res versions added over WiFi. This can be changed, but the beauty is in the set-it-and-forget-it nature of the program. This is not a social network, though: photos are private and secure, and can only be accessed behind a login. The iOS version cannot upload automatically due to background app restrictions, but once open the app does the same thing as on Android, and can continue to upload for 10 minutes once the app is closed.

MyShoebox also uses your photos’ metadata to good use. It sorts based on date, obviously, but can separate albums by device used or location, and has intelligent search if you’re looking for something more specific. This is something that neither Google+, Dropbox or Skydrive does very well. With millions of users uploading photos from digital SLRs, phones, tablets and point-and-shoots, it’s helpful to know the source of the shot as well as its context.

The company has yet to address early complaints about the app, namely that it does not allow mass deletion of photos, or detect photos stored on an external SD card. While these changes — and a Windows Phone 8 version — are likely forthcoming, MyShoebox is still a fantastic 1.0 product.

The free version uploads lower-quality snaps, while full-sized photos can be stored for $5/month.

Download MyShoebox for Android and iOS.