A Beginner’s Guide to Carousel, a New Photo Sharing and Organizing App by Dropbox
Choosing a service to save and share your precious smartphone photos is an important decision. Carousel, a new photo-sharing service made by the cloud-storage company Dropbox, offers a sleek, fuss-free medium to store, organize, display, and share all your images that is a real competitor to mainstays like Flickr, Google Drive, and iCloud.
The key to this iOS and Android app’s appeal is its image-rich gallery, which you can scroll through with a casual drag of a finger, or use to jump to a particular year or month. It’s a shame that this app wasn’t released for iPad; its visually striking photo stream would be a natural fit for a larger screen.
Nevertheless, its messaging capabilities do make it a fit for a mobile device. The app allows you to quickly share image bundles — what it calls “events” — from a specific day on your photo timeline to any person in your contact book. You can also use that space as your own personal chatroom with a person. So anytime you share photos, the conversation doesn’t have to stop after an image is transferred.
Services like this do exist already. Apple wants you to back up your photo stream on iCloud. Flickr (which, like Yahoo Tech, is owned by Yahoo) wants you to take photos and upload them to your 1 TB of online storage space. Dropbox’s hope is that you’ll eventually come to rely on the Carousel app so that when you’ve reached peak backup memory (after the free 2 GB you get when opening a Dropbox account), you’ll be inclined to upgrade to a premium storage plan along with it.
Whether you’ll need to do that depends on your own due diligence as a photographer or editor. But if Carousel keeps improving upon its first stab at image sharing, you could very well be inclined to go all in.
Here’s how it works:
You’ll be greeted by Carousel’s cutesy home screen.
After a brief intro, you’ll be asked to either create a new account or sign in to Carousel using your existing Dropbox account. If you’re a Dropbox person, I’d definitely suggest the latter, since the app can automatically access and sync your photos from that account.
Whether you’re signing in with your Dropbox account or creating a new one, make sure to check the box that says Allow Carousel to back up my photos. This way you won’t have to worry about losing them if your phone goes missing or breaks.