App for That: How do you sync photos between iPhone and iPad?

App for That: How do you sync photos between iPhone and iPad?

There are hundreds of thousands of iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad apps for just about everything -- so how come the one you need, the one you know just has to be there, is so hard to find? Enter TiPb's new weekly feature where staff and readers alike sort through the App Store and help you find just the right App for That. This week, Kyra asks:

Is there an app that can help me sync my photos from iPhone to iPad? Emailing them is such a pain.

You can always use the iPad camera kit to connect via dock cable from your iPhone to iPad and suck all the pictures from your iPhone Camera Roll into your iPad Photo app, but that's so mechanical. For a more interesting solution, follow on after the break!

CameraSync [$1.99 - iTunes link] hooks into DropBox,, iDisk, or even Flickr, Amazon S3, or FTP and syncs your photos to the cloud. It's a universal app, so you buy it once and can run it on your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Launch the app and it syncs all the photos in your Camera Roll to the online storage of your choice. That means your iPad gets your latest iPhone photos, and vice versa.

Since all the sync stores are also available on your PC, any photos you sync from iOS are also available on your Mac and Windows machine (and in some cases Linux) as well. (Yes, that means you can just drag a photo into the right folder on your PC, and next time you launch CameraSync on iOS, it'll be added to your Camera Roll as well. Automagic!

Now it can take a while to upload, especially if you have a ton of new photos in your Camera Roll, and we have gotten occasional time outs (especially if you leave the app running in the background and it can't finish before iOS times out the connection.) It is incremental, however, with a nifty "photo falls into the box" animation to show you when a specific pictures has been synced. So if you have any problems, you can relaunch and continue from where you were last.

All in all, its a good solution -- and one we hope Apple builds into iOS 5...

Anyone else have any App for That suggestions for Kyra? Let her -- and all of us -- know in the comments.

Having trouble finding what you need in the app store? Send us an email to and let us know what you're looking for, and we'll do our best to find you just the right App for That!

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Apple working on iPad 3D, could launch this fall?

Next up →

iPhone Live 149: Thickening

Reader comments

App for That: How do you sync photos between iPhone and iPad?


Pixelpipe gets videos and photos to more places, and PhotoSync does an excellent job getting them to you PC, Mac, iDevice, or the cloud.

I use an app called Photo Transfer. It can easily transfer over wifi between iPhone,iPad, and computer. It does Bluetooth transfer as well. Like $2 in the app store. Works flawlessly. Great app/functionality.

Free App called Transfer. You can move pics and video between devices. And you can shoot video on your iPhone , transfer it to ipad2 and create movies using IMovie app. Better this way as the camera on iPad 2 is not very good.

I use an app called PicBox to dump my camera roll to Dropbox. It works well, ignores already uploaded pics, and is ad supported so it's free.

Rene, you say that CameraSync can move pictures from Dropbox to Camera Roll.
CameraSync's FAQ says
"Will CameraSync download photos, or just upload them? CameraSync is a one way sync, it syncs your photos to your service, not back down again. "
Which one is wrong?

After reading your post I have bought CameraSync immediately. I am now disappointed it only works one way. It can only upload photos from iDevice. No two way sync. I want my money back ;)

Well, that's embarrassing. I guess we're all human, but you gotta know what's what before you speak with authority. Trust me, I'm a teacher and teachers know the embarrassment of the occasional student correction. So, roll with it and do more research next time.

PhotoSync is really such a great app. Move pic and vid files between devices flawlessly (and in the background) with absolutely no drama

I like WifiPhoto it's very simply and can be tedious if there are alot of pictures. If your device is connected to iTunes then you can get the pictures on the computer and sync it through iTunes easily.

I'm using Anywhere Photo. . It'll sync pics and videos over wifi and 3g to your computer. Just press the sync button and let it go. Works in the background too.
You do need to leave your computer running at home if you want to sync while you are away on a day trip or whatever.

In my searching for an answer to this very question, I came across the absolutely obvious solution--
Launch iPhoto on your Macintosh, plug in your i-device via the 30-pin USB cable, and your i-device will appear on the left-hand panel. Import All and you're all set! Free, easy, and Apple approved!