We were surprised to see the photos we just took with our smartphone were immediately available on Google+, a social network much like Facebook.

Google’s new “Instant Upload” saves your photos and videos in a private space on Google+. Click the “share” button in Google+ to make them available to anyone, or limit viewing to your friends. If you don’t already have Google+, you can get it at

Google+ lets you upload an unlimited number of photos in standard size (2048 pixels); at full resolution it limits you to five gigabytes of storage, which is free. Video storage is unlimited for videos of 15 minutes or less. The default for photos is full resolution, but you can change that in the settings area.

Being able to send a photo from your Google+ account can be useful in an emergency, such as a violent encounter. The bad guy may think he destroyed the evidence when he stole your phone, but it’s backed up online. (Take that, bad guy!) Or you may have accidentally deleted a photo of your future wife or husband. But it’s ready to download again any time.


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