Google Photos, a feature that was previously hidden behind several other key Google features including Google Plus and Google Drive, was unleashed in this year’s Google I/O 2015. Google Photos was not only given its own place in the forefront of Google’s other important services but it was also revamped and made to stand out on its own to the delight of many Android, iOS and web users.
What do I mean? Simply this. There is now a standalone Google Photos app that you can download for Android, iOS and for the Web. This app gives you access on your device to a whole host of features but some of the key features include the following: free and unlimited storage independent of your Google Drive account, easy creation of GIFs, stories and collages, automatic backups, easy tagging and Google search capabilities to easily identify people, places and other things in your photos as well as a host of other important features.
Let’s have a look at some of the key features.
Things, Places and People
Before you even begin to look for specific photos that may interest you in your catalogue, you will find that Google Photos has already organized them in 3 categories: People, Places and Things.
In the People Category, Google Photos finds faces that are similar and collects them for easy access. For example, if you are looking for your younger sister in your photos, you will find that Google Photos has put all photos with your younger sister close together for easy access.
The app tries to do the same for the Places and Things categories as well, so that photos with similar places and things (like flowers or cars or trees) can be easily accessed. A lot of cloud computing power is used to do all this categorizing and identifying of stuff in your images.
Apart from your images being categorized automatically, the app also gives you access to Google’s very powerful search capabilities. Search for specific things in your photos and you will find them through this feature.
Navigation is quite simple. If you want to select multiple images from your albums, all you have to do is select the first one and then slide your finger to add to the selection. If you want to change the view of your photos, you can view them by day, month and by year as well, by pinch zooming.
Of course, previous image effects from previous versions of Google Photos have crossed over. These include animations, collages, photo groups, stories and panoramas. These effects can be done automatically but now you also have manual control of these effects as well. There are also some light weight photo editing features like adding filters.
As with most good things, there are some flaws or snags with Google Photos at least this far. Some of the downsides include initial uploading of files can be very slow depending on where you have the photos originally stored and based on your internet connection, the unlimited space is only for photos that are 16Megapixels or less and for video that is 1080p or less. For larger images, you only get 15GB of free storage space and you have to buy extra storage.
If you have many photos and you have promised yourself time and time again that you will one day take the time to organize and manage the huge pile of photos that you have, then you certainly can’t do any worse than getting Google Photos.