One of the coolest features about Google+ is its ability to automatically upload all the photos you take and then allow you to selectively share them at your convenience. While Facebook has been testing this same type of feature with a few users since August, the service is now rolling out publicly to everyone. As long as you have the most recent version of the Android app, you should be able to enable it soon.


It's a little unclear how long the rollout will take, but the feature should be seeing much wider availability. It won't be automatically enabled, though, don't worry. In order to turn it on, you'll have to go to the Photos app in the navigation sidebar in Android and tap "Sync" to activate it. After that you can choose whether photos will upload over WiFi only or your data network as well. According to a help page here, you can store up to "about 2GB" of photos.

This is certainly a big deal, as Instant Upload was a distinguishing feature of Google+. Of course, Facebook has over a billion users, and if there's one thing that the social network likes to specialize in, it's sharing photos. This is a major turf war between the two networks and we can only expect the battle to get more fierce.

Of course, that's great news for us. Photo editing, for example, has only gotten better, both on Google+ and Android. Hopefully in the future we'll even see some Google Drive integration as well. This all means Facebook has plenty to compete with, and that will lead to better photo services for all of us.

Source: Facebook

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://kylepetz.com Kyle Petzinger

    Not sure about anyone else, but I saw this feature pop up on the Android app about 1.5 weeks ago.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      "While Facebook has been testing this same type of feature with a few users since August" You were part of the test! :)

  • John

    2GB & downsampling ? no thx

  • http://www.facebook.com/mizatt Matt Alexander

    Dropbox was the first app I can remember to implement this functionality

    • JohanBoskamp

      nope g+ implemented it before dropbox I think.

  • mesmorino

    If you ask me (and yes, nobody did), Photo uploading is the WORST thing about G+

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      How can it be bad? It's optional. It's 100% positive. People who want to use it can and people who don't won't have to. There is no one who is inconvenienced or harmed by it in any way whatsoever.

      • Brian Inglut

        I love the g+ auto upload feature its one if the things u like about it. I never have to worry about my photos anymore

      • mesmorino

        The experience is what makes it bad. Aside from having an idiosyncratic album/folder sorting system, instant upload killed my battery. Things like how is my scrapbook different from profile pictures? Why do I even have a pictures from posts album? Is it syncing my picasa albums? Where is it putting them? Picasa says they're synced but G+ says it doesn't have them. Oh they're on Picasa WebAlbums? But G+ says it can get my pictures from there. So where are they? And what's with the "photos from device" album? Why can't I have a simple folder to put them in like Dropbox does?

        And so on like that. I just went back there to delete all the pictures I had there and I'll admit it's VASTLY improved from when I last tried it- Except that while all those little annoyances were irritating me, Friendcaster, Facebook and Dropbox were showing what a refreshingly simple experience I could have.

        And no, "optional" is not the same as "100% positive". People who want(ed) to use it, like me, would like a great experience, thank you very much.

        • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

          The reason they are put in a folder like that is so you can decide what to do with it later. and if it's killing your battery you can make it only upload when you are charging or on wifi

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

          Ah, I see. I misunderstood. I actually forgot about how badly the albums were implemented, since I started using QuickPic to manage albums, but you're right, that's kinda horrible. I especially dislike the Picasa integration because it ended up pulling a bunch of pictures from an old Blogger account and I have no need for those. Also, in the early days I used to get re-uploads of pictures I took all the time, but I think they sorted that out.

          That being said, as Christopher says below, you can probably fix the battery issue by ensuring it only uploads via Wifi, unless you're frequently on WiFi while taking pictures. That's how I have mine set up and it usually doesn't upload until I get home where I'm near a charger. Maybe that will help?

    • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

      rly? not really seeing how an optional feature can be the worst thing about G+....but I guess if G+ is so awesome that the upload feature is the worst part, well we have different views on G+

      • mesmorino

        It being optional has nothing to do with how good it should be to use. And no, G+ is far from awesome. It's just basically alright.

        • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

          you are hitting on my point. I can think of way worst things about G+

  • spookytay

    from what I can tell, I don't have many photos, but the limit graph only seems to pop up in the "synced from phone folder", so I think the 2gb limit is only for the "synced from phone folder" you can always copy the photos to an album or make a new one and then delete them from the "synced from phone folder"

  • scuttlefield

    I just don't trust Facebook like I do Google with my photos. Burn it! Burn it with FIRE!

  • Disqus (and Facebook) Sucks

    Why would I want to automatically upload photos to Facebook? Why would I want to use Facebook at all?

  • MrWicket

    only thing it has over Google+ is you can organize albums on Facebook vs Google plus that just sorts it newest created album first.. they need to fix that 1 year ago.. :/

    • Donald Stoddert

      As far as I know Its been there all along, http://support.google.com/plus/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1407859

      • MrWicket

        not the organizing I'm talking about unfortunately. I know you can organize photos in a album, what you can't do is organize the order your albums are in. so when I take photos from instant upload and add to new album that new album is in position one. This would be fine if I from the beginning was doing this but I had photos in my instant upload from over a year ago and as I went down the list I now have, for example, 2010-12 December before 2012-12 December. If I could sort the order the albums are in by name or date that would be great but we're kinda left to this automated system and it's something Google really needs to fix. Thanks for the reply though, you had me super excited that maybe I was just being a idiot and missed something! :D

  • ratatattata

    I had this feature two weeks ago, it was horrible. It synced all my photos, and with no option to "delete all", I had to manually delete <1000 photos.

  • http://riteshtripathy.wordpress.com/ Ritesh Tripathy

    They've been totally out of ideas for ever a year now and been whacking features off G+ on a routine basis. Here's another one.
    I'm not trying to predict the future, but, this doesn't look like a company that has an exciting future ahead.

  • CodeMonkey

    Yeh, because that's what I'm waiting for from Facebook. Not a native app or anything useful...

  • FrillArtist

    Lol. Facebook.

  • Ryan

    Sure you can auto upload on FB but guess what? You can't share the photo from mobile! You have to use your computer to do anything with the photo. Stupidest thing EVER.Why would I want to have to do that?