Tag Archives: photos

How to create Instagram-style photos without Instagram

Instagram is a sinking ship.

Don’t worry, I don’t mean that Instagram is going anywhere. After their $1 billion acquisition from Facebook (well, it ended up being more like $741 million after Facebook’s stock price tanked), they don’t have much to worry about anymore.

Now that Instagram is financially secure and under the protective wing of Facebook, new issues have arisen: the politics of social networks.

In case you missed it, Instagram’s CEO recently announced that they would no longer show Instagram pictures on Twitter. A few days after that announcement, Twitter publicly confirmed that Instagram had fully disabled photo integration with Twitter.

I’ve been a big fan of Instagram for two main reasons: 1) Although they can be easy to overuse, many of their filters do make photos more interesting, and 2) It’s easy for me to share pictures to both Facebook and Twitter through the Instagram app. Now that the second reason is falling apart, I started thinking about what I could do to keep my photos out of this upcoming it’s-our-content-not-yours social network war.

In this article, I’ll show you some apps you can use to make beautiful photos on your mobile phone without having to touch Instagram.

Snapseed

Available for: Android (free, reviewed in this guide), iOS ($4.99)

The Snapseed editor on Android

Snapseed is much more powerful than Instagram, offering a variety and depth of control that I’ve never seen in a mobile photo editing app. But, thanks to Snapseed’s crazy simple user interface, you’ll never feel bogged down with settings or controls.

Snapseed’s interface is based on simple gestures: after selecting one of the editing presets, you can swipe vertically to adjust individual settings like brightness, contrast, and filter strength, then swipe horizontally to increase or decrease the value. My favorite feature is that you can touch the image to switch between the original and your edited version to see how things are going.

Snapseed allows you to share your images through any capable app on your phone, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Snapseed offers several filters, photo frames, and a tilt-shift effect. Although it doesn’t have nearly as many preset filters as Instagram, the photo settings are all customizable so you can effectively make your own filters and save them as favorites for future use.

In case you’re wondering about the price difference between the Android and iOS versions of this app, I’d say it is likely due to the fact that Google recently acquired Nik Software, the company behind Snapseed. Hey, I’m not complaining.

Photo Examples from Snapseed

Left: Original
Right: Contrast Correction +100, Drama Filter +90, Straighten
Left: Original
Right: Contrast Correction + 54, Grunge Filter Style + 444

Pixlr-o-matic and Pixlr Express

First off, what’s the difference here? Both Pixlr-o-matic and Pixlr Express are from Autodesk, the same company that makes AutoCAD, Maya, and 3ds Max (how’s that for name dropping?). The main difference is that Pixlr-o-matic is like Instagram with preset photo filters and almost no editing, and Pixlr Express offers a more robust photo editing experience.

Pixlr-o-matic

Available for: Android (reviewed in this guide), iOS, Chrome, Facebook – all free

The Pixlr-o-matic editor on Android

By default, this app includes 25 premade filters and has dozens of extra downloadable filters available for free within the app. Pixlr-o-matic’s filters often do much more than most filters I’ve seen, including pop art collages à la Andy Warhol.

The default filters are interesting but I wasn’t blown away by any of them, and one major disadvantage is that photo effects like blurring are built into the filter and can’t be manually applied or removed.

Pixlr-o-matic offers many “overlays” which are transparent effect layers you can add over top of your picture. These overlays can be used to give your pictures vignettes or that “worn, damaged photograph” look.

If you’re looking for an Instagram alternative that offers a ton of premade filters, Pixlr-o-matic might be the app for you. Overall though, I was unimpressed with the app and its user interface seemed to be very clunky and poorly designed compared to Snapseed.

Photo Example from Pixlr-o-matic

Left: Original
Right: Grayson filter (adds the collage effect too), Perga frame

Pixlr Express

Available for: Android (reviewed in this guide), iOS, Web – all free

Pixlr Express editor in Android

Pixlr Express essentially has all of the features that Pixlr-o-matic offers (including the same filters, borders, and overlays as far as I can tell). The biggest difference is that Pixlr Express offers additional advanced photo editing features, and gives you much more control over the individual filters. Also – and more importantly to me – the Pixlr Express’s user interface is much better than Pixlr-o-matic.

I chose to uninstall Pixlr-o-matic and kept Pixlr Express, since Express has all of the basic Instagram-style filters and allows for editing brightness, contrast, red-eye removal, and adding blur. If you feel overwhelmed by a full set of photo editing tools, however, you may want to stick with the simpler Pixlr-o-matic.

Photo Example from Pixlr Express

Left: Original
Right: Focal blur (circular), +22 blurring, +48 color boost, +60 glow

Twitter

Available for: Android (reviewed in this guide), iOS – both free

Twitter’s new filters

Yep, that’s right, I said Twitter. In response to Instagram pulling the plug on Twitter support, Twitter decided to remind the Instagram guys how hard it is to recreate their product. Apparently, not very.

Twitter just released updated mobile apps for both iPhone and Android that offers filters that are extremely reminiscent of a photo sharing app that rhymes with Blinstagram. They even had time to make a cute little instructional video, so it’s safe to say they’ve had this update in the works for a little while.

The new version of Twitter includes 8 basic filters, including “Vignette”, “Black & white”, and “Vintage”. While they don’t offer much variety or as much dramatic effect as Instagram’s filters, Twitter’s simple swipe-based user interface makes it super easy to select a filter and move on.

Photo Example from Twitter

Left: Original
Right: Vintage filter
Fun fact: If this picture looks familiar, it’s because it is the same hill from the famous Windows XP Bliss wallpaper, which I took near Sonoma, California. It’s no longer a grassy field, and is now covered in grapevines for wine making.

Conclusion

So there you have it: four alternatives to Instagram that can help you make creative works of art out of your mobile photographs. Of course, the one thing these apps don’t offer (Twitter being the exception) is the accompanying social network, which is one of Instagram’s better features. But, if your goal is simply editing and sharing pictures, these apps should work just fine for you (and you can even re-share them on Instagram!).

On a related note, if you’d like to see some of the amazing things that can be done with photo apps like Instagram, check out How I Instagram from randsinrepose. That article was the inspiration for me to find better ways to perform simple edits on photos from my mobile phone, and showcases the amazing results that can be achieved when you put a smart person in control of a simple app.

Ask Techerator: Can I copy photos from my iPad to an external hard drive?

As the popularity of Apple’s mobile devices like the iPad continues to increase, consumers are looking at ways to replace their personal computers for an iPad. This frequently raises a question: Is there a way to connect an external drive to the iPad to transfer photos?

The short answer is no you cannot directly connect an external drive to your iPad; however, I have listed some alternatives below.

Option 1: Syncing to computer

The easiest way to store photos from iPad to external drive is to transfer the files to your computer first. Before setting up syncing, make sure the latest version of iTunes is downloaded. You can change your sync options at any time.

How to sync via USB

  1. Connect the iOS device to your computer using a USB cable.
  2. For Mac users select iPhoto, on the left hand side you should see the iPad listed under device. To Import select the photos and select import.
  3.  On a Windows PC the autoplay window will pop up when the iPad is plugged in. Click “Import Pictures and Videos using Windows”. Select Import.
A few other ways to transfer photos to PC is by using iCloud or Dropbox.

Once all photos have been synced to your PC you can then plug-in your external hard drive to copy them over.

Option 2: Connecting to external hard drive

As mentioned above there is no direct connection between the iPad and external drive. However, currently on the market there are a few wi-fi drives that can be used in conjunction with the iPad.

Kingston Wi-Drive

Image Credit: Kingston

As an external hard drive, the Kingston Wi-Drive supports both PCs and Macs and iPad’s out of the box, but its performance is about the same as a USB flash drive. The downfall is that it is about $60 for only 32 GB of storage.

Access to the drive is done over the 802.11 g/n protocol, just like your typical home wireless hub and can be shared with 2 people. This device is a great way to add storage to your iPad, but with the small amount of storage it is not a great long-term storage option.

Seagate GoFlex Satellite

If you are looking to transfer our photos from iPad to eternal drive without using a PC, then the Seagate GoFlex Satellite  is the best option. It has a built-in wireless-N access point (with a 150 ft range), to which up to three wireless devices can connect.

For the best experience you will need to download the iPad app Go Flex Media. The app can also download selected content from the GoFlex Satellite drive onto the iPad so that you can access them without having to use the drive, or when the drive is out of battery. The downloaded content can only be played and viewed via the GoFlex Media app, it can’t be integrated into the iPad’s library.

Image Credit: Seagate

The GoFlex comes with 500GB of storage space for about $160, which is more expensive than the Kingston drive, but offers a substantial more storage space.

Conclusion

While you cannot directly attach an external drive to the iPad to copy photos, you do have a few options to perform this task. If you have a better method of getting photos over to an external drive feel free to leave a comment below!

Review: Eye-Fi Mobile X2 wireless memory card

If you’ve ever wanted your photos from your digital camera to be automatically uploaded to your computer right after you’ve taken them, Eye-Fi’s line of products aim to do just that. I was able to get a hold of the Eye-Fi Mobile X2 model, which advertises the ability to not only upload photos directly to your computer, but also directly to your mobile devices.

Let’s take a look!

The installation process (at least on a Mac) was pretty time consuming. From the time I plugged in the reader until the time I could actually use it was about ten minutes. That’s borderline unacceptable for such a simple piece of hardware.

On top of that, the interface was a little sluggish. After I took a photo, it took about 10 seconds for it to notify me on my computer that it was uploading. Then it took another 10 or so seconds for it to show up in the Eye-Fi software. A 20-second lag time is pretty disappointing, especially if you’re using an Eye-Fi for time-sensitive purposes.

Overall, the user interface isn’t as intuitive as it should be. I know that Eye-Fi wants its users to use their software to manage the photos that you take with it, but honestly, it would make the entire process a lot easier if you could just simply take a photo and the folder just pops up on your desktop with your photo in it. They could even create a setting where the photo pops up full screen on the monitor right after the photo is taken. This would be great for photographers working in a studio (although, they would most likely be working with way better equipment and software anyway).

The Mobile X2 model comes standard with a feature called Direct Mode, which allows you to automatically upload photos from your camera to your mobile devices. I found this to be a lot better than the computer software as far as simplicity and intuitiveness, and photos upload a lot quicker. You’ll have to download the free Eye-Fi app, but from there it’s pretty much smooth sailing. Direct Mode is perfect for when you want to share a photo over Facebook or Twitter while you’re out and about, but are wanting a little more quality out of your photos than what your smartphone’s camera offers.

There’s a small caveat you should know, though: Your camera’s battery life takes a hit when you use the Eye-Fi card. It isn’t terrible, but I definitely noticed the battery draining faster than it would normally. Also, the card reader’s physical size is really wide and won’t fit into a USB port that has something plugged in next to it.

The concept of the Eye-Fi series is a great one and I think after a little bit of improvement to the software, they’ll nail it. However, at $80, one will have to think long and hard about whether automatically uploading photos to your computer is worth the extra money, even if the functionality was solid.

“Batch” is the ultimate mobile photo sharing app for iPhone

In the smart phone era, everyone is an amateur photographer. Equipped with high-def capabilities and nearly bottomless storage, we produce a lot of photos on a daily basis which we’ve opted to share individually on Twitter or in bulk on Facebook. The problem is that sharing full albums with friends requires a bit of effort — downloading to your desktop, uploading to Facebook — why can’t we do it on the go?

Batch is an iPhone app that allows you to easily share large numbers of photos with your friends without needing to make a stop at your computer. Sharing photos from your phone isn’t exactly a game-changer, but Batch is one of the first to offer a way to share many pictures with just a few taps.

Credit: iTunes App Store

The beauty of Batch is its simplicity. A focused design lets you snap pictures, tag friends, and share your albums without any fuss. Friends can leave comments or simply ‘Like’ what they see. Batch allows you to post a link to your albums on Facebook and Twitter for friends to view anywhere. Photos dominate the screen and you can easily flip through pages of your own pictures or albums posted to your feed by friends. Privacy settings are a cinch, letting you make some albums private or share with just a few friends at a time.

The downside? Batch requires a Facebook account for login. But come on, you already have one of those…

Batch keeps your photos safe and your friends updated. If you take a lot of pictures with your iPhone, batch is an absolute must. Photo-sharing apps seem to be the big thing right now, with Instagram and Path making big gains each month, but Batch is the first to perfect the idea of sharing full albums on the go.

Take a boatload of photos, share them with Batch.

Create an Instant Photo Gallery with DropMocks and min.us

I am a cameraSometimes, people like to make things a little more complicated than they need to be. One of those things is creating an online photo gallery.

Most people when they want to post their photos online will turn to Flickr, Picasa, or Facebook. There’s nothing wrong with any of them, but sometimes you just need a quick and dirty way to post your photos online.

And two services, DropMocks and min.us, allow you to do just that. Let’s take a peek at both of them.

DropMocks

DropMocks is incredibly easy to use. Just navigate over to the site, open your computer’s file manager, and then drag and drop your photos into your browser’s window. Depending on the number and size of photos that you dragged and dropped, they can take anywhere from a minute to several minutes to upload.

Uploading files to DropMocks

Once your files have been uploaded, you’re given a URL which you can share with your friends and family.

As for the gallery (called a mock) itself, it’s quick and dirty. But it works. You get a basic carousel. The image you’re currently viewing is in the center of your browser window, and thumbnails appear to the left and right. Click on a thumbnail to bring that photo to the front.

A DropMocks gallery

While you don’t have to sign in to DropMocks, you might want to just so you can manage your mocks. You can sign in using a Google Account, and from there edit your mocks or delete them.

min.us

min.us works a lot like DropMocks. Again, you can just navigate over to the site and drag and drop your photos into your browser window. You can also upload files the old fashioned way using a file selection dialog box. Once your uploads are finished, you’re given a URL to share.

A gallery in minus
A gallery in min.us

The interface is a bit more cluttered than with DropMocks. And instead of the carousel effect you get a slider effect. But people who visit your min.us URL can download all of the images in a gallery in a zip file.

Like DropMocks, you don’t need to set up an account with min.us to use it. However, you might want to do that if you need to manage your galleries.

Managing galleries in minus

On top of that min.us has a number of tools that make it easier to work with the site. There are desktop uploaders for Windows, Mac, and Linux; mobile applications for Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone 7; and Web browser extensions.

minus Android mobile app

If you’re using one of the desktop or mobile uploaders, don’t upload one photo at a time — min.us will create a gallery for each image.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes, you just need a fast and simple way of putting your photos on the Web for your family and friends to see. Both DropMocks and min.us do just that. They’re easy to use and are a very efficient way to get your photos online.

Photo credit: ilco

Holiday Gift Guide: Something For The Whole Family Edition

For some, holiday shopping is a joyous and fun task, but for others it’s a difficult one. A lot of the difficulty stems from not knowing what to get someone. Being a person that loves shopping, let me give you a little guidance for buying gifts for the whole family.

Gift Ideas for Grandparents

My grandparents live down south, but they love to keep in touch with me and the rest of my family. If I had lots of money to spend this holiday season, I know exactly what I would purchase them – Cisco Umi.

Webcams/Video Conferencing

Cisco Umi is a consumer-focused telecommunications system that offers the ability to connect with people via videoconferencing on HDTVs. Cisco Umi comes with a high-definition camera embedded with a microphone, a set-top box, and a remote. In order to use it, however, you must possess internet service and an HDTV – if you are really feeling generous this holiday season you could buy them an HDTV as well, just in case they don’t have one.

In essence, Cisco Umi is a product that offers extremely high-quality videoconferencing.  It can bring your grandparents into your living room and vice versa. (Note: in order to use Cisco Umi, both parties must possess it.)

Cisco Umi retails for around $599.00 plus a $24.00 monthly fee.

If you aren’t interested in spending that much money on your grandparents, I have a few other suggestions:

  • Buy them a webcam and tell them about the magic of Skype.
  • Buy them a notebook, laptop, or computer with a built in webcam and then tell about the magic of Skype.
  • Or buy them a plane ticket to come visit.

Digital Picture Frames

A much cheaper gift idea that would bring you guys closer is a digital picture frame. Digital picture frames are picture frames that digitally display pictures – for this they generally use a memory card to store the pictures. They have been on the market for a few years now, but have dropped significantly in price so that they are more affordable.

When they digital picture frames first came out they cost a few hundred dollars, but now you can purchase one for around $50 dollars. I actually bought my grandparents and my mom one for Christmas this year (hope they aren’t reading this). I bought them on Black Friday for only $40.

They can be purchased in assorted sizes (from 6” to 26″), assorted colors, styles, and brands. There are even have digital photo frames available now that connect to the internet so you can post your favorite pictures to the web, or even print pictures off using a built in picture printer.

Gift Ideas for Parents

Electronic Book Readers

Being huge fans of reading and books in general, I think a perfect gift for any parent that likes to read would be an electronic reader. Electronic readers are a great gift idea because in the long run it will cost you less money since eBooks are much cheaper than print books, it saves on paper (yay! for the saving the environment) and it will clear up some clutter in your parents’ house (my dad has books everywhere).

Electronic readers (eReaders) read electronic books (eBooks). They also do much more than just allowing you to read. They allow you to take notes and look up definitions. Some allow you to access the internet, play music, and even watch movies.

eReaders have only been around for the past five years or so, but have really caught on. A lot of colleges and classrooms have adopted eReaders, opting out of traditional books. When looking for eReaders, you will come across brands including Sony, the Nook by Barnes and Noble, The Cruise Tablet by Borders, The Kindle by Amazon and the Apple iPad (more of a tablet computer, but does have the iBook app), among other brands. Each one has their advantages and disadvantages, but I will leave the brand choosing up to you. I will say that The Kindle remains the most purchased and highest rated eReader on the market.

eReaders retails for as little as $80 and go as high as $600. The average, however, is right around the $200 mark.

Gift Ideas for Teens

Smartphones

There are so many great gift ideas for teenagers, today more than ever, thanks to the tech-savvy world we live in.

Even though cell phones have become a staple in our society, I think they are still a great gift – especially now that so many great smartphones have hit the market. Connecting with each other has become such a large past time thanks to texting, emailing, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. With a smartphone, you can get all that in one device.

When shopping for a smartphone, I highly suggest looking into an Android smartphone. Some of Android’s biggest advantages over other smartphones (dare I say the Apple iPhone?) is the ability to multitask (yes this can be done on iPhone 4), upgrade to new versions of Android, choose carriers (iPhone is locked into AT&T), an open market (consumers drive the app store, not the producers – store also isn’t censored as heavily as the Apple Store), customizable home screens, integrated with Google, and there is a larger selection of phones (this comes in handy when shopping with a budget).

Android smartphones range in price and availability depending on the carrier.

Apple iPad

If your teen already has a smartphone, then why not splurge a little and get them an Apple iPad? I was against it at first, because I have a computer and an iPod Touch and an iPad is basically those two things combined. It is those two things combined, but it’s a really slick device. There is so much you can do with it – listen to music, surf the web, watch movies, play games, study, write papers, etc. It’s a great item for travel and great to use while lounging around the house.

I love sitting on the couch and playing with the iPad, whether it’s reading a good book, playing a game, or connecting with people on Facebook and Twitter. It’s really a universal item that makes a great gift because it does so much!

Gift Ideas for Preteens

Gaming Systems

What better gift to give a preteen than a gaming system?

I would recommend getting them any of the major gaming systems: Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, or PlayStation 3. Those are great gifts because they are fairly universal as well. By universal, I mean you can do such much more with them than just playing games. They act as DVD players (excluding Wii), a Blu-Ray player (if you get the PS3), connect to the internet, and so much more.

If you purchase an Xbox 360 make sure to also purchase Kinect, and if you purchase a PS3 make sure to purchase Playstation Move. They provide the game with a more interactive experience by using motion, and gets kids active. Long gone are the days where you just sit down and play video games, now people of all ages can be active while playing – even exercising. It’s really a great gift for the entire family because it’s something that can bring the family together. Game nights have never been so much fun!

Gift Ideas for Kids

Educational Gifts

In my opinion, one of the best gifts you can give a kid is the gift of education. Sounds boring right? Not necessarily. Last year I bought my niece a LeapFrog Tag Reader for Christmas. It’s a special pen, that when used with LeapFrog Tag Books, will read the story out loud to the child. With each touch of the pen, words are read out, pictures come alive, and overall the book becomes interactive. It redefines the reading and learning experience for kids.

My niece uses it constantly and it really improves a kid’s reading skills. LeapFrog has a library of over 40 books, including story books, game books, and map books that contain kids’ favorite characters (SpongeBob, Toy Story, Disney Princess, etc). The LeapFrog Tag Reader Pen retails for around $30, with the books costing anywhere from $10 to $20 (most of them are $13.99).

Art Gifts

Another great gift idea is the Color Wonder Magic Light Brush from Crayola. This is one of the gifts under my tree  for my niece already, and I’m excited for her to open it on Christmas because I really want to play with it. The product uses specially coated paper and a fiber-optic brush. It only works on the right type of paper – making it mess free. It retails for right around $20.

Another cool product from Crayola that’s worth checking out is the new Crayola Glow Station Day and Night. With the set, kids can create images in either light or the dark. In the light, the drawing turn out bright purple; in the dark, they magically appear to be bright green. This one retails a little higher at $25.

These are two products that are great gift ideas for kids because they are mess free (no more writing on the walls) and encourage kid’s imaginations and creativity.

Gift Ideas for the Whole Family

Google TV

I thought a good way to finish up this gift guide would be to suggest a gift that the whole family can use. Seeing that the TV is an item that generally brings the family together, I thought a great gift for the family would be the Google TV. Google TV combines television and internet into a seamless entertainment experience. It allows you to search your TV so that you can find exactly what you want to watch, and adds perhaps one of the best channels ever – the internet. You can also download hundreds of apps from the app store including some of the most popular apps: Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, Weather, News, etc. Your Android smartphone, iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad can even be used as a universal remote to control the TV.

There are three products when it comes to the technology of Google TV. There is the Sony Internet TV (an HDTV with internet built in) which starts at $599. There is the Sony Internet TV Blu-Ray Player (which is a Blu-Ray player with internet built in that connects to your existing HDTV and retails for $399. Finally, there is the Logitech Revue (which is just a set-box, running Google TV, that connects to your existing HDTV and retails at $299).

With hundreds of dollar differences in the price tags, one wonders how the products differ. In essence, the main difference between them is that one is a TV, one is Blu-Ray player, and one is a set-box. If you already own an HDTV, then I recommend going for the Sony Internet TV Blu-Ray Player, because from reviews it seems run faster and have a cleaner interface than the Logitech Revue, and it’s a Blu-Ray player.

Conclusion

I hope by reading through this guide you got some ideas for Christmas presents. Happy Shopping!

Tag Your Friends’ Faces in Picasa for Easy Photo Organization

Picasa is a free application from Google that lets you easily edit and manage your entire photo collection.  Picasa offers many useful features like geotagging, web albums, and powerful-yet-simple photo editing (I love the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button).

One problem with large photo collections is that it can become extremely difficult to find pictures of specific people.  If I wanted to dig up a picture of one of my college buddies, I’d have to spend quite a bit of time skimming through photos, hoping the correct one pops up.  But with Picasa, you can use the fantastic Face Detection feature to tag your friends.

Face Detection works similar to Facebook’s photo tagging feature, except Picasa will automatically show you a list of unnamed faces for you to tag.  Once you’ve given them a name, you can easily find that person again in the future.

Picasa will automatically scan your photo library for your friends’ faces.  To start tagging pictures, click the Unnamed entry under the People section (this will say Scanning if it’s still identifying faces).

The Unnamed People album will contain a huge list of faces.  If you know the person, simply type their name into the Add a name box and press enter.  You will then be able to create a contact for that person (which can be reused whenever tagging photos).  If you don’t know the person, simply click the X to ignore them.

After you’ve tagged a few pictures, Picasa will begin suggesting photo tags for you.  Look for the orange question mark (?) next to a person’s name, then you can click the green checkbox if the tag is correct or the red X if it is incorrect.  I must have an easily-guessable face, because Picasa guessed me correctly in every picture.

The more photos you tag, the better Picasa gets at guessing faces.

After your pictures are tagged, you can use the buttons under the tagged person’s name to create slideshows and movies from their pictures.  The recently-released Picasa 3.8 includes a new feature called “Face Movies” which makes a slideshow that revolves around a single person’s face.  If you’re making a video for a wedding or birthday, this would be a killer feature to utilize.

Now if only there was only a way to integrate tagged photos in Picasa with people on Facebook!  Picasa is a free download for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  [Download Picasa]

Image credit: Joe Ninety

How to Download and Backup Pictures from an LG Dare Mobile Phone (VX9700)

I recently decided to part ways with my old LG Dare phone (VX9700), but before I got rid of it I wanted to back up the pictures that were still stored in its memory.  Unfortunately, you can’t just plug the device into a computer and make copies, and it takes a long time to send each picture from the phone one at a time.  This guide will show you how to quickly backup your pictures from your LG Dare.

Step 1: Download and install BitPim.  This is incredibly useful software that lets you access your phone’s file system and we’ll be using it in this guide to backup your pictures.  BitPim is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Step 2: Connect your LG Dare phone to your computer with a micro USB cable.  Open BitPim and go to Edit –> Detect Phone.  BitPim should quickly identify your phone which you can verify in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Step 3: Click Filesystem in the bottom left of Bitpim, then open up the / folder tree in the next column.

Step 4: Locate and expand the folder mmc1, then click my_pix.  You should see a list of all your pictures in this directory, which will have numeric file names and end with .jpg.  Right click the mmc1 folder and select Backup entire tree…

This process can take a very long time depending on how many pictures you have on your phone.  You can monitor its progress by looking at the status bar. Be sure not to use the phone or the program while it says BUSY in the bottom left.

Step 5: When BitPim is finished backing up the files, a dialog box will pop up where you can specify the location you would like to save the files.  The files will be stored in a compressed .zip folder.

That’s it!  Your pictures are now copied from your LG Dare to your computer.

Photo credit: LGEPR