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Younity allows for smartphone access to photos stored on your computer

Younity lets you peek at some of your photo's info before downloading or sharing it.

What do you do when you are away from your computer and you need to access a certain photo? 

There are plenty of companies looking to bridge the gap between smartphones and computers, most using cloud services. Apple and Microsoft each have their own—Apple's iCloud works with  iOS, Windows, and Mac devices while Microsoft's SkyDrive works with Windows Phone, Windows, as well as Mac and iOS. Other companies like Flickr or Dropbox offer cloud storage as a  solution, allowing users to sync their photo library. Then, there's Younity.

What makes Younity different is that it aims to connect all of your devices without waiting for syncing or paying for cloud storage. With Younity, your computer acts as the cloud, storing your files, while Younity uses the internet to access them.

As long as your computer is on and connected to the internet, Younity can get your files. Younity will also connect you to your external hard drive as long as it is on and connected to your computer. Currently, Younity is only available for iOS mobile devices, though it has plenty of support for different desktop operating systems.

In a press release today, Younity announced that users can now access and upload photos to social media straight from the Younity site. So if you forgot to share that photo on Facebook while you were at home, you can access it from your smartphone and upload it through Younity without having to download it to your device first.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The new feature gives users the ability to access and share photos that are stored on their computers or external hard drives right from their iPads and iPhones. This means that they can post photos directly onto Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Weibo profiles from any location in the world, even when they don’t have access to the device where their photos are stored.

Younity, which enables users access to all their files stored across multiple devices, without syncing and without storage limits, also recently introduced their ephemeral file sharing feature which allows users to privately share their photos, music, videos and other files with friends in for a short period of time before they self-destruct or the user chooses to un-share them. Younity’s free personal cloud service gives user’s complete access and control of their information from anywhere, without storing any user data online.

Highlights of the new feature include:

    • Import and edit any photo via your favorite photo apps on iPhone and iPad
    • Post any photo to your Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Weibo profiles via the iPhone or iPad 
    • Search all your photos across all of the devices in your younity personal cloud.
    • Copy, Save and Print photos (and documents) directly from your iPhone and iPad


Total comments: 13

I have used this service for a while and it works very well on my Android phone and tablet. It Is also god on my desktop Windows computer.

Edited 34 seconds after posting

Can you make this 'browser-based'? Then it would work on my BlackBerry. At the very least, once you make an Android version, allow it to be sideloaded onto the BB.

Take it a few steps further and allow it to stream other media files, similar to WD Live! or the various Ipad wireless media servers, but do it over the internet rather than a local network, and it could become viral (although media companies would never allow it and would be trying very hard to squash you).


Hi. We allow you to stream/access your content no matter where you are. So if you are in Tokyo, one computer is back in California and another is in New York, all that content will be available for you to access on demand via younity without planning ahead, logging into a website or having to put the files in a special folder.

Sorry, no plans for a Blackberry app but we will have a web front end in the future. Hope that helps. Thanks.

Erik Caso

1 upvote

Not "smartphones". "25% of all Smartphones"

That's like saying "we're making X available to everyone" and then amending it with "as long as you're in your 20s, white, and in San Francisco".


Leaving your computer on all the time is an energy-inefficient thing to do. I put all of mine in sleep or hibernate any time I'm not actually sitting at them, and I recommend everyone else do the same.

It's possible to connect a hard drive to my router and leave both on. Together these use around 8 watts compared to around 45 watts for a running laptop or more like 300 for a running desktop. But the problem there would be syncing my internal hard drives with the external all the time.


Hi Lee,
Letting your computer sleep/hibernate is fine; I do the exact same. If you want access to a file younity will "wake" it up and all is good. If you turn off your computer or put it into a "hard sleep" (e.g. close the lid of a laptop and unplug it), then younity will not be able to wake it up. Hope that helps. Thanks.

Erik Caso

1 upvote

Sounds similar to
except of course the personal computer acting as a cloud. Nevertheless could be an alternative to those that have Android or Windows Phone.


We're obviously not thrilled with their name. 'younited' stores your files online, like Dropbox; younity creates a cloud from your own devices - never storing files on our servers.

When you install younity on multiple computers, all the content is unified on your iPhone or iPad so you don't ever have to browse device by device. That means all your photos across every computer your have or external hard drive are all unified and searchable. It also includes all your music and playlists, even across multiple iTunes accounts. You can even search by EXIF data via our unified search feature. You don't have to move things "into" younity, they are automatically found and simply available on your iPhone or iPad.

This allows you to simply keep shooting photos, store them on your studio workstation/computer and always know that they are available anytime on your iPhone or iPad. You can literally have your whole photo portfolio with you all the time, without having to plan ahead.


Fantastic! Is the Company a subsidary of the NSA? What better way to open up your PC to the Internet.


Hi Andreas,
I can appreciate your concern. To answer your question: we don't EVER store your files or anything about your file data. We don't even have storage servers. So if the NSA comes to our office and kicks in the doors and takes away all our servers, the most they will get is your email address (which is what is used for a username). That's it. Seriously.

A personal cloud is something new that we're working very hard on. It gives you the benefits of the cloud, without us having your data and at a vastly lower cost. For photographers and photo enthusiasts (like me), it means you can carry around every photo you've ever taken. You can view them, share they privately with others, and now you can post them directly to Facebook, Twitter and others.

Hope that helps understand younity a bit better. We're really excited to see what the photography community thinks. Let me know if I can answer any other questions. Thanks

Erik Caso
younity - from Entangled Media

Joe Ogiba

Watch out for the black helicopters.


I only have laptop (travel with it) and NAS at home. Can Younity use my NAS (hooked to router) in the same way?
When will an Android smartphone and tablet version be available?


Hi Music Hands,
Sorry, just saw this. Currently we have not released our Linux version to the public, but we hope to do that this year. At that point, your NAS can be your personal cloud server. Android should come out later this year as well. Hope that helps, sorry if we are not yet hitting your platforms. Stay tuned, they're coming. Thanks again.

Erik Caso

Total comments: 13
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