Ok so I want to try and do this thing where every now and then I recommend an app or service to people that I feel may help them out. Today I want to take a look at photos, not so much editing them but storing and organizing them.
There are a few times that I see happening a lot with people and their pictures.
- Forgot to switch them to the new phone before getting rid of the old phone.
- They keep them in their phones taking up memory.
- They go through hell trying to move all their pictures from one phone to the other.
- Sometimes they just somehow lose all their pictures.
- They have a picture but they are not really sure how to share.
- They share the picture over MMS or some other service that makes the picture smaller and not nearly as good.
Here are some of the reasons why I chose Google Photos as the best way to deal with Pictures on our phones.
1. Automatic uploads
Now, some people may think of Automatic Uploads and start thinking about Privacy. Honestly I’m not so much afraid of privacy, I’ve never had any issues, all the pictures get uploaded to a folder only I can see. The only thing that could be an issue with Automatic Uploads is battery and data caps. If you are uploading a lot of pictures using your normal cell phone plan, you could be using a lot of data. Uploading is also going to use up your battery so you could be draining your battery pretty bad. Luckily Google photos does allow you to set it up so that it auto uploads when you are on WiFi and also upload only if your phone is plugged in. Personally I just have my phone upload no matter what, I don’t take hundreds of pictures a day.
2. Free Storage
Services like Flickr may offer you 1 free Terabyte of storage but Google offers you Unlimited storage of your pictures for free. There is a catch, pictures have to be 16 megapixels or less. If your photo is higher than 16MP then it will allow you to upload it but it’ll convert the image into a smaller 16MP image. Don’t be too afraid of this, most cameras on phones don’t have 16MP cameras anyway. Even the new Galaxy S7 is only 12MP.
They do give you the option to upload your pictures at full resolution, as in if your pictures were higher than 16MP, but then those pictures would use up space from your Google Drive limits.
3. View from just about anywhere
I can view Google Photos on my phone, but I can also view them on my web browser. So in my case since I have mine uploading at all times, when I take a picture outside, by the time I go inside I can already see it on my web browser and share it. If I go to work, i can still go into it from there, if I go anywhere as long as I can connect to my google account, I can view all my pictures.
Not only can I view my pictures on my computer, I can also upload pictures from my computer. There is a Google Photos uploader where you can sync a folder with Google Photos so that any photo you put there will be uploaded. You can also drag and drop pictures from your computer straight into the Google Photos web interface and it’ll upload.
With Google Photos I can easily share my pictures directly into Facebook, Google + or Twitter straight from the website. If I just want 1 person to see my picture, I can create a link that I can then share with that person, so anyone with that link will be able to see the picture even if they don’t have google photos. On my Android phone I can share to just about everything. On the iPhone…. well…. that has never been the iPhone’s strength.
I went to a birthday party and took a bunch of pictures, maybe 50 or so. I get home, I log into my web browser and already the pictures are there. However only about 15 of those 50 were any good. I can easily select those 15, add them to a new Album, give it a name and share that 1 album on Facebook, Google +, Twitter or again I can create a link so that only people with that link can go in and view those 15 pictures.
6. Face Detection
This one is a little scary, but it’s also very neat. Google Photos gives you a list of the faces that it sees the most in your pictures. You click on that face and it’s scary how many pictures it finds with that persons face on it. Not only that, but I’m 37, it finds pictures I have of me when I was 5! It’s not perfect, I’ll admit, it gets specially confused with all my cosplay pictures, but I would still say it’s amazingly accurate.
It’s no secret that Google’s computers are looking at your pictures here, how else would that face recognition thing work? They are most probably looking at all my pictures looking for everything I like so that they know what to offer me, but I don’t mind. Faces is not all it looks for, it recognizes a LOT of information.
The other day I wanted to remember when a specific event happened. I couldn’t remember at all, I did however remember that I took pictures and that we had set up some fake windows so some people could learn how to measure them. So I did a search for “Windows”. Photos returned all the pictures it found with windows in it. I took a few scrolls and there they were, the pictures from the event, I was able to see when exactly the event took place. Then I did a search for that date and I was able to find all the pictures I took that day.
This isn’t a one time thing though, I’ve been able to find a lot of things like this. For example, if I’m looking for a picture with a bunch of family members together, I would search for “Family” and it’ll look for any picture with a bunch of people together like a family would be. That picture where you were wearing a green dress? Try “Green dress”. Picture of a car you saw a few weeks ago? Search for “Car”. You can search for so many things, search for “Dogs” to see all your pictures with dogs, a few cats may get in there but mostly it’ll be dogs.
8. Helps me Remember!
This one really should be part of “Search” but it’s so important to me that I put it as a separate thing. I am very forgetful, I can not tell you how many times I’ve needed to remember what I was doing on a specific day and I just couldn’t. Specially at work when I am going over the days I took off and I can’t remember why. So I just go into my Google Photos, search for the date and since I tend to take pictures just about daily I can see what I was up to that day.
Did I forget to mention it not only does all this with your photos but it also does it with your videos? It stores your videos (up to 1080P) for free as well! You can share your videos the same way also. The search doesn’t quite work the same in video but that’s to be expected.
10. Auto Awesome
Ok so this is one of my favorite parts of Google Photos (aside from search features). It has a bunch of edits that it can do with your pictures that it calls “Auto Awesome”. If your photo meets certain requirements, it’ll take it and make an edit to it that it thinks would look nice and saves it as a new picture, it then presents it to you and if you like it, you can keep it.
For example, if you take a bunch of pictures in a row of someone moving, it may take all of those and create an animated gif of it.
It may also take a normal picture
And turn it into something different
If you take many pictures of a landscape, it’ll stitch them together and create a new image
One of my personal favorites is the Auto Awesome movies. I could go to a birthday party and take some pictures and some video. once it uploads them it’ll grab pieces of videos and different pictures and create a 30 to 45 second video with background music and all. I usually do some minor edits to those videos and then share them because no one really wants to watch all the videos I took.
Because of the GPS on your phone, if you happen to go on a trip, when you come back it’ll even take a bunch of those pictures and create a story board for you to share with your friends.
I could go on and on about why I love Google Photos, and trust me, they do not sponsor me lol, no one does sadly, I just really like the service and I think people should know about it. I hope this post has been useful to you, if so let us know in the comments, if you use Google photos and there is something I didn’t mention, let us know of that also, or if you just plain hate it let us know why as well.
Thank You for reading!