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Last Updated: February 8th, 2012

Photo syncing is not a novel idea at all - there are countless solutions that do it on a regular basis, but instant photo uploading the moment it is taken is something I've been looking forward to for a long time. And now it's here, thanks to Chris Soyars, aka ctso - one of the senior CyanogenMod developers.

Chris's new app, DropSnap, has a very simple purpose - get your photos synced up to the cloud the moment you take them. I'm not exaggerating - it really is that fast (of course, depending on your data connection). For example, on Wi-Fi, freshly snapped pictures were synced to Dropbox and back to my computer before I could open my mouth and say "Android rocks".

For most people, knowing their photos are safe gives them peace of mind, but for me, it's opening up a whole new way of taking pictures for application reviews and good old screenshot sharing. That's right - you can set any folder to be monitored for changes, with multiple folder support planned in the next few weeks. You can also set a destination directory on the remote side, individual file upload notifications, as well as a variety of syncing options.

wm_snap20110530_012019 wm_snap20110530_012519

DropSnap isn't perfect yet - for example, some snapshots taken by ShootMe are getting only partially uploaded, and deletions are deliberately not propagated through, but I'm fully expecting Chris to take care of these issues in a short while.

The program is free to use, but automatic sync comes with a one-time $3.99 in-app purchase. To me, that's a small price to pay for such instant synchronization; as for you, you'll have to decide for yourself - just remember, your next coffee is probably going to cost more.

Update: As a few of you pointed out, DropIn (free) and Titanium Media Sync ($3.39 - from the creator of Titanium Backup) are alternatives to DropSnap. Both sync instantly and have varying levels of complexity.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • Craig Rachel

    Titanium Media Sync gives you more granular control over this. You can set rules when to sync based on connectivity and power source. It will sync instantly if you set it for "Any" power source. You can also sync any folder on your microSD, not just with Dropbox but also your FTP/SFTP server. All for a dollar cheaper!

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      To be fair, DropSnap also supports various power and network settings, as evident from the screenshot and is configurable to use any folder with multiple folder support coming. FTP/SFTP is nice in TMS indeed, and I am all for supporting both authors, as Chris Soyars is part of CM, while the other guy is the one who made Titanium Backup, so either way we go is great.

      Also, DropIn is apparently a free, but very simple, alternative. I've updated the post with both of the above.

      • Craig Rachel

        Agreed, we should be supporting well written apps.. I might buy this app too and put it on my N1. That phone doesn't see much action anymore, but, as you point out, my iced-coffee was $3 this morning!

  • Seth

    If you're just looking for automatic photo backup into the cloud/your computer Sugarsync already does it for free.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      I have SugarSync as well, but it doesn't do instant uploading, at least I haven't seen an option to do so. Are you sure it does it?

  • OFI

    Hmm not used this in-app purchasing before. It won't do it because I don't have the latest Market version and Market won't update.

    DropIn you say..

  • Jaymoon

    Worth the $4 to me. It's a simple enough app that seems to stay out of the way and just do what it's supposed to do, only when it's supposed to do it (if that made any sense).

    Question I have, is a lot of premium apps I purchase just so that I can have them forever linked to my Market account. What about in-app purchases? If I upgrade to a new phone, will this in-app purchase carry over to the new phone too?

    The "free" app of DropSnap is all that shows up in my order history on the Market...

    :/

  • Michael Haar

    If you want to go one step further and also have your photos taken automatically (for example while away, driving, running or whatever activity) you could try my free app MobileWebCam which posts to your website, uploads to ftp or sends email with the picture automatically. It is meant for old hardware so it is not very polished but I use it a lot for exactly this type of instant photo sync (and making photos available to viewers instantly).

  • Mean Lady

    EXCUSE ME BUT YOU CANT NOT ONLY GIVE CREDIT TO ONLY ONE PERSON CAUSE OPTEDOBLIVION AND CHRIS SOYARS BOTH WORK ON THIS APP. STILL WORKING ON IT!!! WHICH UPSET ME '_' a lot

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      It's not obvious that someone else besides Chris is doing work on this app as it's sold under his account without any additional credit. OptedOblivion's twitter RTed the announcement but offered no other clues. No reason to get upset and use all caps really, although your name does tell a story.

  • Concerned Androidian

    Sugarsync has does this for quite some time now.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      That is incorrect - SugarSync does have autosync (which is currently extremely buggy and deletes files locally - I've filed a bug to them), but it doesn't run automatically upon picture taking - it runs at a minimum 15-min interval, which wakes your phone up and eats away battery.

      DropSnap registers with a broadcast sender and doesn't eat away battery by waking up periodically.

  • OFI

    Had a look at the free DropIn.. can't select which folders to sync as you can with DropSnap so I find it a bit worthless.

  • http://www.sethgoldstein.net Seth G.

    http://www.google.com/support/androidmarket/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1061913

    This says that the restoring of apps that are purchased with in-app purchasing might not be valid on a new phone it's up to the developer. Also refunds are not guarenteed

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Indeed, the APIs to grab in-app purchase history are provided to developers, and it's up to them to correctly apply the logic. However, I think the logic for figuring out whether a user has a certain privilege that was bought on this phone or on another phone is the same, and the dev would have to explicitly disallow new devices if he or she so wanted by comparing device IDs.