How-To Geek

From the Tips Box: Syncing Android Folders to Dropbox, GPS Tagging Photos After the Fact, and Android/iPhone Clinometers


Once a week we round up some great reader tips and share them with everyone. This week we’re looking at syncing folders from Android to Dropbox, GPS tagging your photos, and using your Android or iOS device as a clinometer.

Sync Your Android Media with Dropbox


Steve writes in with the following tip:

Hey guys! I saw your article about backing up your Android SMS/MMS messages to Gmail. On top of using that app to backup my messages regularly, I also have another layer of backup. I set up the program DropSync to sync the media folder my MMS message pictures and videos end up in with my Dropbox account. This way I have the messages and media backed up in Gmail and I have the media backup up in Gmail and Dropbox. Double backup all the way across the sky!

We’re all for redundant backups and you’ve certainly pulled it off here, Steve. Nice tip!

GPS Tag Your Photos After the Fact with GeoSetter


Mark writes in with a photography trick:

While I know not everyone is down with embedding geo-location data into their photos, I’m a big fan of it. My new camera does it automatically but my old camera did not. To fix that, I’ve been using a program called GeoSetter. It only works if you know the location of the photos (since you have to tag them yourself) but it makes the process super easy. Since many of my photos were taken at the same time at various locations, it’s been pretty easy to go back and adjust it.

This is definitely a a time saver for those trying to retroactively tag their photos, Steve. Thanks for sharing.

Using Your Smart Phone as a Clinometer


Grace writes in with the following tip:

I stumbled on this app while looking for a clinometer to help my son measure the angle of his kite strings (so he could calculate the elevation). It’s available for both Android phones and iPhones (the Android version is free the one for the iPhone is a buck).

Speaking of kites, if anyone knows any good Android-based apps related to kite flying, my son would be thrilled to hear about it!

And now we have the sudden urge to take the afternoon off and go fly some kites (maybe we’ll have some kites app to share with you as a result!)

Have a tip or trick to share? Shoot us an email at and look for your tip on the front page.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/3/12

Comments (2)

  1. bestdesigntheme

    oh this is interesting, thanks for an article or

  2. TheFu

    If you have lots of photos that you want to tag with GPS data, there is an easier way, though the steps may seem complicated at first.
    Here’s the setup:
    * GPS device that supports “tracks”
    * Accurate date/time set on the camera

    When you are done taking photos, export the GPS tracks to your PC. This provides a time-location trail.
    Copy your photos to the same PC.
    Use software to read the GPS track file and sync the photos based on the timestamp on each photo.

    The software to do that differs and you may need to convert the GPS device track file into another format that the software uses.
    * Gpsbabel is the swiss army knife of GPS file conversions.
    * will look at a .GPX file and EXIF data inside image files, then add the GPS data appropriately. I’ve had to open the time range for matching to be 30-45 seconds since sometimes the GPS signal drops out.

    There’s probably a way to get GPS track data out of smartphone logs too. I dunno.

    Still adding GPS data manually for your very best photos might be nice, provided that doesn’t negatively impact your privacy. I never GPS tag photos near my home or work unless it is a tourist location. OTOH, on vacation photos I love having the actual location connected, since many photo galleries will provide a google-maps link automatically for photos with GPS data inside.

    There are GUI tools to handle this now. refers to PhotoMapper and Grazer. I’ve never used either.

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