The user’s going to pick dancing pigs over security every time. — Bruce Schneier
At Trovebox we’re always thinking about the future of keeping your photos accessible and safe. It’s why we’ve been entirely transparent since our start 2 years ago. Our features, bugs and even our source code are part of a collaborative space where thousands of you have weighed in and participated.
Today, we’re continuing that tradition of openness. I’m convinced that cloud storage is the future for most of the population. Each day more and more of our content goes off into the cloud to reside. Trovebox was originally built with that in mind; though we don’t force the cloud on anyone.
In 2011, I hypothesized that people would benefit from added ownership and portability of photos which they store in the cloud. 2 years later we’ve proven that hypothesis to be true. 33% of users on Troveobox.com store their photos in their personal cloud account. And we’ve migrated hundreds of thousands of photos between different storage services. This doesn’t include the many individuals and organizations that run Trovebox themselves.
Now we have another hypothesis; that people would also benefit from having their files encrypted before being stored in the cloud. Trovebox already provides several advantages to users who want to select a company they trust with the storage of their photos. In fact, they can choose from any of the 6 cloud services we support today. But maybe there’s even more we can do.
We want to start a discussion on the usefulness of file level encryption. There are lots of ways this can be accomplished (symmetric vs. asymmetric, etc.) but we’re really interested in understanding if people would benefit from photo software which provides security in addition to data ownership and portability.
This is our first step in finding out and if our hypothesis proves true then we’ve got some exciting things planned.
Today we released the upcoming version of OpenPhoto at our hosted service, now named Trovebox.
We spent a lot of time asking you and ourselves what could make OpenPhoto better. The result is a completely revamped user interface and experience.
Sharing photos We took our first of many steps towards making sharing your photos easy for you and for those you share with. You’ll notice a share icon next to every photo. Clicking it will display 3 options to share your photos.
Share via email The simplest way is to share via email. Doing this attaches a low resolution photo to the recipient(s). Your photos can be public or private and the recipients won’t have to click a link, login or sign up for a service to view your photo.
Share via Twitter and Facebook Of course there are times when you want to post a photo to your Twitter or Facebook. Those options are just a click away on the right. You’ll want to make sure the photo you’re sharing is public.
Managing your photos We wanted to make it effortless to change the title of a photo, make it private or add it to an album. You’ll notice nearly everything can be updated by simply clicking on it.
Just look for the pencil icon and get clicking.
Batch editing your photos The pushpin is your key to edit photos in batch. You can select all the photos from the sub navigation or selectively click on the pusphin when you hover over a photo. This adds it to a queue from where you can add tags, albums or change the privacy.
Revamped iPhone and Android apps We’ve also updated our apps in the app stores. You’ll find all of the same functionality which was there before but with a cleaner and sleeker look.
The team There were a lot of people who helped make this release possible.
Tobias Beisel, iPhone and Android UI and design
John Fabrizio, web UI and design
Mark Fabrizio, web UI and interaction
Patrick Santana, iPhone development
Eugene Popovich, Android development
Jaisen Mathai, API and backend
And as always the entire community for opening issues, pull requests and keeping us motivated.
Don’t forget to take a moment to set down your cameras and turn off your phones during the holiday season. Take some time to appreciate your family and friends, the scenery around you and all the little things you have to be thankful for in 2012.
Here’s to 2013. It’s going to be a great year!
We’ve got an early Christmas gift for Android users. The OpenPhoto app is now available in the Google Play store.
PixelPipe adds support for hosted and self installed OpenPhoto instances bringing the power of the pi.pe platform to anyone who wants to migrate, transfer, share, manage and retain control of their photos.
For example, if you would like to migrate your entire 500px account over to Amazon S3 and use the OpenPhoto web and mobile apps to view, share and manage your photos - it’s now possible with a few clicks.
PixelPipe’s support for OpenPhoto puts the power of their pi.pe platform in the hands of anyone who wants to leverage it. — Jaisen Mathai, The OpenPhoto Project
PixelPipe recently launched (experimental) support for OpenPhoto. PixelPipe is a service that allows you to transfer photos (and videos) across social sites. If you have 5,000 photos in Facebook you’d like moved over to 500px; they do that. PixelPipe supports over 10 services.
Freedom is a possession of inestimable value. — Marcus Tullius Cicero
Our goals with The OpenPhoto Project are to provide tools which make it easy for users to retain ownership and control of their photos. So the combination of PixelPipe and OpenPhoto create some very unique opportunities for users and developers.
OpenPhoto support in PixelPipe is unique for 2 reasons. It’s both distributed and open source. Every OpenPhoto instance is supported. Ones at openphoto.me and self hosted versions.
There exist 73 combination you can play with.
OpenPhoto supports the following storage services:
Local filesystem (for self installed instances)
PixelPipe supports these services:
On being distributed Being distributed means that you can set OpenPhoto up yourself, on your own hardware, and point the PixelPipe service to it.
On being open source Being open source means you can configure it to do whatever you’d like.
Or you can use webhooks without touching a line of code.
As of today, OpenPhoto supports 5 cloud storage providers including Dropbox, Box, Amazon S3, CX and DreamObjects. Until now that simply meant you could choose where your photos get stored.
Our vision, however, is much larger than that. We’ve been working on and testing the ability to easily switch between cloud storage providers. If you put 10,000 photos into Box then they shouldn’t be stuck there. You should be able to click a button, go watch a movie and come back to every photo now in Dropbox.
Your website, iPhone and Android apps shouldn’t know anything happened and the next photo you take should end up in Dropbox instead of Box. Every title, tag, album and comment should remain in tact.
What we’re working toward can be summed up in a single word: seamless.
It doesn’t happen overnight but this is a big step towards putting you in control of your photos.
We’re offering free unlimited lifetime accounts to anyone affected by Hurricane Sandy. This isn’t a 1 year free subscription you’ll be asked to pay for later; it’s really free. No strings attached. Read more.
The intention of OpenPhoto has always been to have mainstream appeal. That’s not easy to do when you’re building everything as open source software. In the past year we’ve had a lot of ups and a lot of downs but we’ve remained focused on the original vision.
The fellowship will allow us to dedicate much needed resources to OpenPhoto and continue focusing on building out the vision we set out on over a year ago. There’s still a lot left to do and we’ll be blogging and tweeting about our plans and progress.
1) YOU DECIDE WHERE TO STORE YOUR PHOTOS Select where you’d like to store your photos. You can choose Dropbox, personal Amazon S3 bucket or your hard drive.
2) USE OUR TOOLS TO SCOUR YOUR PHOTO ACCOUNTS (OPTIONAL) You’ve already uploaded photos to Flickr, Picasa or Facebook. Let us go…
What’s new in the OpenPhoto iPhone app (version 3.0)?
In addition to a handful of improvements we completely redesigned the uploading screens. You can now upload multiple photos at once. You can also keep track of which photos you’ve already uploaded to your OpenPhoto account. If you try to upload the same photo again we’ll simply let you know and make sure we mark it as “uploaded”.