Google Photos review

Google Photos Is Very Cool And Very Free

Google Photos is a perfect solution for backing up and managing photos (and videos) on your smartphone. It’s powerful, free, and filled with delightful features.

  • Google Photos stores an unlimited amount of your photos and videos in the cloud and frees up space on your smartphone.
  • It works with iPhones, Android and other devices, keeps your photos private, but lets you easily share them on any social network, or via email.
  • 16 megapixels is the top limit for images. Most people can live with that.

Google Photos Is A Solid (And Free) Solution To Your Photo Storage Woes

There’s a lot to like about Google Photos, the cloud-based photo storage service from Google that  automatically uploads and organizes all the photos and videos on your phone. Here’s what some reviewers are saying:

  • It’s “better than the leading competitors from Apple, Amazon, Dropbox and Microsoft” according to famous tech reviewer Walt Mossberg at Recode.
  • It has “everything I’ve ever wanted in a photo service”, says Joanna Stern of The Wall Street Journal

Some of the most important features of the service include:

  • Storage is unlimited, and it’s free
  • The service works across all your devices, automatically
  • It’s great at organizing your photos. If you have a lot of cat pictures it will automatically use them to create a cat gallery for you
  • Searching through images is a snap – it even has a facial recognition feature, which some users have reported is available only in the US at this time
  • It is private by default, but has easy to use sharing features if you want to share

It even has a rather magical assistant feature that works in the background to look for ways to improve your photos or turn them into stories or animated gifs. The photos in this article were all generated by the assistant.

google Photos Review

Google photos cropped and stitched together this animated GIF of a Curiousmatic conversation

Search and Organization Is Superb

Google Photos cleverly organizes your photos and videos into various categories, including People, Places and Things. The service also looks at geolocation data and landmarks to recognize patterns, stitch together content and organize images in surprisingly intelligent ways.

The service automatically backs up new photos you’ve taken and puts them in the cloud (Apple has this too), and can be configured to delete photos on your phone if the photo is already backed up. It’s a great way to manage your phone’s photo storage if you are constantly running out of space.

Clever Enhancements

Google Photos review

Google Photos stitched together this animated GIF of corn growing in a field

Perhaps the coolest feature is the photos assistant, which works in the background to stitch images together, make mini-albums, animated gifs, and even crop and filter images artistically.

Reliving old memories has never been easier, as the assistant automatically puts together slide shows and catalogs of related images, turning them into a digital scrapbook and presenting them as drafts for your review.

A Couple Of Google Photos Caveats

  • To use Google Photos you need some kind of Google account. Gmail is fine, an old Picassa account will work, or you can use Google+ if you have it.
  • Google Photos has a maximum photo resolution of 16 megapixels, which is good enough for most people, but not great for serious photographers who may require more.

TechCrunch worries that Google may have dark motives for wanting to store all your photos, and speculates that the service could be used to to target ads to users. Google denies it, but it’s always a good idea to think about the motivations of big companies when they offer something of value for free.

As a side note, Google recently launched a new privacy hub where users can manage all their Google privacy settings across all Google products and services.

Takeaway

Google Photos is a solid solution for most people’s needs when it comes to storing, organizing and sharing photos and videos.  Many reviewers love it, and so did we.

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