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Deleting Your Photos, Not Your Memories
Last week, I talked about cleaning out your phones, but one thing I didn’t spend a lot of time on - intentionally - is photos. I mentioned our phones have become so many things to us, but as their cameras become even more impressive, we use them more and more. Meaning, most of the space on your phone over time is undoubtedly taken up by all of your photos. As time goes on, you probably take more pictures, and with newer, more powerful cameras, the larger files take up more and more space, escalating the problem.
So, how can we back up our photos in preparation for deleting them from our device to make space? A general rule of thumb for backing up files is the 3-2-1 Rule. Meaning:
Have at least  copies of your data
Backup in  different ways
Have  copy offsite
This rule is pretty aggressive, time-consuming, and costly. However, if you’ve ever lost important data, it’s none of the sort, and you’d probably pay a hefty amount to get your data back. Side note: If you have an older hard drive or device you need to access data from that’s been damaged or stopped working, check out the Drive Savers. Costly, but effective. The various copies mentioned, multiple ways of backup, and offsite location can include any or all of the following:
Local computer (laptop or desktop)
External hard drive or flash drive
On premise server or network attached storage
More recently, there’s an argument this rule could be dwindled down to the 2-2-1 Rule. As long as one of the copies IS on the cloud. With cloud storage becoming less expensive, more available, and more reliable - this is my suggestion, and what I practice. There are many cloud storage options available that may be used regardless of your phone of choice. Some popular options include:
Typically, all of these services allow some level of free storage, and charge for more. Prices and storage options vary, and some even have family plans and other specific features to include. For example: Google One includes a VPN; Apple One includes access to Music, TV, and Arcade; OneDrive includes access to the Office Suite; Amazon Photos is included with a Prime Subscription; Dropbox offers the most storage for files; and ATT allows uploading photos free of data charges. You can also have more than one service! So, don’t think you have to choose just one.
Once you have your photos backed up, you can begin to delete them from your phone. The process may be different depending on your device, but essentially, you can choose the “Select” button and start picking multiple pictures and videos for deletion. Once deleted, you may have to “Empty” the trash or clear your “Recently Deleted” folders. This isn’t an uncommon practice and happens on computers as well. Just an extra step of security. Sometimes, you may have pictures you want to save. You could place them in a separate folder or album, but if you delete them from your camera roll, they will typically delete them from the folder or album, too. On iPhone, you could save these pictures to your “Files” app, and on Android, there are plenty of apps that offer the same feature, or you could save them to your SD card if applicable.
A word of caution on Androids if using Google Photos and iPhones if using iCloud. It may be tricky to figure out if pictures deleted from your phone will also be deleted from the cloud service. I would suggest double-checking your settings within each app and take a few throw away pictures to test before committing to deleting tons of pictures.
ICYMI: Amazon’s Fall Event
In an invite-only, no-streaming, party, Amazon released a slew of devices. The new Echo Show 8 has an updated camera and spatial audio with “adaptive context” that allows it to adjust what’s shown on the screen based on your distance from the device. An accessibility feature called Eye Gaze on various Amazon Tablets allows users to control Alexa with their eyes. On the heels of accessibility, Alexa receives an upgrade as Alexa Guard gives hands-free access to emergency assistance. For the kids, an Echo Pop and Fire HD Kids 10” Tablet are available. Echo Frames and Smart Glasses include Alexa in your glasses with built-in speakers. There were speed enhancements to the Fire TV Stick, a new 4K Max Stick and a first-gen, Bluetooth-enabled Fire TV Soundbar compatible with all Fire TV devices. Lastly, an Echo Hub was released as a first wall-mounted 8” touch screen tablet that acts as the center for your smart home.
ICYMI: Microsoft’s Fall Event
While we enter their new era of AI, Microsoft made some substantial changes to Copilot as they embed AI and Bing Chat throughout Windows. It even plays nice with some applications and web apps. Moving forward with AI, look for it to be everywhere Microsoft is. Can we get a return of Clippy, though? Check out the updates to their Surface Laptop Studio 2, Surface Laptop Go 3, and the Surface Go 4.
The biggest announcement flew under the radar. Paint now has layers, supports png file types, and has a background removal tool! Something that has been in PowerPoint for years…
Also, an accidental leak on future Xbox plans that were unintentionally disclosed in Microsoft’s litigation documents in regard to their Activision merger made the rounds last week. These plans show a refresh of the Xbox devices, and other leaks show Microsoft’s willingness to acquire Nintendo if ever in play.
POTW: Photo Editing Apps
With the update coming in hot, you may have found a new-found love for Microsoft Paint. Or maybe you’re just feeling nostalgic for MacPaint? What if it’s still not enough, and you can’t stomach paying for the Adobe Suite and Photoshop? While there are plenty of alternatives, I’d like to point out a few of my favorites over the years. The best version I’ve seen isn’t free, but it’s very reasonable - Affinity Photo. The freemium, web-based versions I suggest are Pixlr E and Photopea. Each have their strengths and weaknesses, as well as mobile apps. I suggest looking through these, as well as the many more alternatives. Try the ones that look most promising to you, and see which one you’re able to use the best. Because the best one is the one you’re using.