How to Upload Pictures From a Cell Phone to Picasa

There are two options to upload cell phone pictures: uploading from a client application or uploading through email.

Option 1 - Use a Client Application

Some phones, including more modern BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and Android smartphones, host official Google apps for Picasa integration. Other phones support third party applications for the same purpose. Search your phone platform's app store or app directory for a Picasa Web Albums app and download it. Follow the in-application support documents for information on how to sync with your Google Account and upload your photos.

Option 2 - Send Photos By Email

A little-known feature of Picasa Web Albums is that it supports email integration. If your phone supports outgoing emails with images, you can send photos to your @picasaweb.com address and have them routed to your account. Here is how to set up that service...

Step 1 - Enable Email Upload

Visit your settings page for Picasa Webs, here. Locate the "Upload photos by email:" setting and click the box next to "Allow me to upload photos by email." In the box below, enter a secret word of 6-15 letters and digits in length. Your Picasa Webs email address will be in the format username.secretword@picasaweb.com. Don't forget to hit "Save changes" at the bottom of the page to enable this option.

Step 2 - Save Your Picasa Webs Email Address as a Contact

Open your phone's email client or address book and enter your Picasa Webs email address as a contact, in a place where you will remember it. Since you are not logging in to a Google service by emailing this address, you can email photos to your Picasa account from a friend's phone or email-enabled device.

Step 3 - Upload!

To test that everything went according to plan, compose a new email on your phone. Set your Picasa Webs email contact as the recipient and attach a photo or several photos to the message.

Here are a few tips to remember when uploading by email...

  • Emails are capped at 20 MB per message. If you have more than 20 MBs to upload, either use in-phone compression (if available) or send your photos over multiple messages. If you have a 1G connection, it is advisable to remain far under 20 MBs anyway.
  • If you wish to add a caption to your photo or photos, write it in the email's subject line.
  • If you wish to add your photo or photos to a specific album with Web Albums, write that in the subject line instead. If your subject line does not match an album in your Picasa Web Albums account, it will instead be uploaded to a general-purpose "Drop Box" album, which serves, in Google's words, as a "holding pen" for uncategorized uploads coming from the Picasa desktop app, email accounts, and Google's Orkut social networking site.
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