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ThisLife makes online photo storage and organization a breeze

by Marty Gabel

These days, many people upload their photos to numerous online services and it can sometimes be hard to keep track of them all. ThisLife, an app for iPhone and iPad, is a cloud solution for sharing and organizing your photos and videos. It allows you to import your photographs from web services like Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, Instagram and others, or you can simply upload the images from your computer.

As a company, ThisLife firmly believes that photographs should be treasured memories that need to be protected. This means understanding that organizing all your photos from disparate services isn’t much fun. ThisLife automatically imports your photos, cleverly recognizes duplicates and faces, and even auto-enhances the images for the best image quality.

Its most interesting feature is how it creates a “story” of your images. It adds dates to each photo and it’s easy to include a text or audio note to enhance this storytelling experience. At the same time, ThisLife makes it straightforward to browse and rearrange your photos any way you choose. You can create themed albums, and the app is also clever enough to retain social networking information such as Facebook likes.

Once you are done organizing your images, it’s simple to share them via Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or email. However, you can set your albums to private if you don’t want others to see them. The interface is elegant and smooth, even with many photos stored, and the quality of them is impressive. It’s encouraging to see ThisLife store the original images (even if it enhances them) and doesn’t resize them so they lose quality.

The app is free, at least initially. You’ll get the opportunity to store up to 1,000 images and 1 hour of videos with the basic Simple Plan. While that does sound like a lot, you’ll be surprised how many photos you’ve probably stored via various apps once ThisLife starts to dig around. Pay $7.99/month (or $79.99/year) for the Adventure Plan, and your storage is upped to 20,000 images and 10 hours of video at 1080p resolution. That should be enough for most people, but true photo and video fiends will appreciate the so-called Family Plan for $14.99/month (or $149.99/year) which offers 50,000 images and 25 hours of full HD video.

ThisLife is definitely worth a look, especially for free. The web service is effective, but it’s really enhanced by the mobile experience. With ThisLife, it’s easy to show off your photos to people via your iPad or iPhone, and you’re not losing precious storage space on your devices because photos are stored in the cloud instead.

An Android version of the app is expected soon.