DroboPix is a brand new app for iOS that makes uploading iPhone and iPad photos automatically when either device comes inside a preset location. If you have a Drobo 5N or B810n attached to your network, you have everything you’ll need to take control of the immense library of photos stored on your iPhone or iPad. While those devices now sport storage up to 128 gigabytes for iPhone or 256 gigabytes on iPad, photos and videos can quickly eat up a huge amount of space on our devices. Having a system that seamlessly uploads copy to protected storage is a big time saver. It’s also peace of mind should an iPhone or iPad go irretrievably missing, dunked in water or destroyed as an iPad of mine was. I left it on top of my car and drove away. I am sure it got crunched on Atlanta’s busy I-20. It never showed up on Find My iPhone.
Download the free DroboPix apps
There are two Drobo Pix apps. Download DroboPix from Apple’s App Store, then install it on your iDevice. The other is from Drobo. It installs on either of Drobo’s network attached storage (NAS) devices the five bay 5N and the eight bay B810n. Here’s how to set up a “N” Drobo and connect with Drobo Pix.
Open DroboPix on your iPhone or (and) iPad. The welcome screen asks for permission to access the camera, photos, current location and turn on Notifications. Click Allow Access to continue.
Sometimes, a permission need to be confirmed. iOS might or might not ask. More on the not ask later. When asked, click OK.
There are a couple of more steps for setting up this DroboPix app. I’ll get back to those after setting up the Drobo N device.
Install Drobo Pix on the Drobo 5n or B810n.
Launch Drobo Dashboard on your desktop computer. Click on Drobo Apps. Click on DroboPix
Set the upload location on the DroboPix mobile app
The DroboPix mobile app makes the connection to the Drobo N device thanks to its built in QR code scanner. Next, tell the app where you are when you want to upload your latest photos.
Problems & solving them
I ran into a big snag as the next iPhone screen shot shows. Never synced and zero files to be uploaded. Not good.
Sometimes iOS doesn’t grok what the app asks it to do. The DroboPix mobile app’s setup screen asks to allow access to Photos. In my case, this didn’t happen. I went to the iPhone’s Settings > General > DroboPix then checked Allow DroboPix to access Photos. Problem solved.
This is going to take some time. If your iPhone or iPad goes to sleep the upload will be delayed. Also sometimes it times out. This is not the DroboPix app’s issue. Apps are limited by iOS to a short window of time to do uploads as a way of conserving battery life. Be patient. Once the first upload is synced, later ones will be much faster.
On the Drobo 5N or B810n, the photos are located in the Share_Name folder in a folder named Photo Uploads. Inside that folder is a folder for each year. In each year is a folder for every month that photos or videos were made. My only gripe is that the months are not numbered so they appear in alphabetical order which makes April, August, December & February precede January. Of course Summer immediately follows with June & July followed by Spring March & May. You get the idea. If this drives you crazy, click on the year in Adobe Bridge. Ahhh. Monthly folders are in their proper order. (Don’t spin down the year’s disclosure triangle because they too are in alpha order.)
This app makes my life as a photographer a whole lot better. The automatic upload into a known location makes getting to iDevice photos of behind the scenes for these blog posts or scouting images for clients simple. It’s far superior to selecting images in Photos and Air Dropping them to the Downloads folder. If you have a Drobo unit who’s name ends with an “n,” get the app. You’ll fall in love with it. I did.