I/O 2015 Keynote Google announced Google Photos, a new service that will allow users to easily upload, edit, and share photographs from all of their devices. Google Photos seems like a reboot of Google’s previous efforts for making a photo sharing service through Google+, and is instead a standalone product with its own dedicated apps and website.
Google’s goal is that Google Photos will become a place where users can permanently store a continually growing collection of photos from their cameras and mobile devices. They also hope to improve upon the organization and sharing of photos, which has become a difficult problem to tackle with people taking and sharing more photos than ever.
Here is what you need to know about Google Photos:
It’s free and unlimited
You can store as many photos and videos as you want on Google Photos and Google will happily store full resolution versions of your memories for free. All images are stored on the cloud, freeing up space on your local device.
Did we say full resolution?
Well, almost. With Google Photos free storage, you are restricted to 16-megapixel images and 1080p videos – anything bigger will be downscaled to those sizes. Also note that even if you upload an image that’s 16-megapixels or less, Google will not retain your original photos. Google Photos saves pictures as a high-quality compressed jpg that’s “near-visually identical but takes lot less storage.”
Google Photos comes with a built-in editor that will let you touch-up photos. Among the other awesome editor features, Google Photos has an auto-fix button that will improve your pictures by fixing brightness and other aspects of the image.
Great, great Search
What would a Google service be without awesome search? Google Photos can recognise objects in images, so if you type ‘cycling’ or ‘doors,’ it will return all photos that have those activities or objects. It can even recognise specific breeds of dogs.
Google Drive is available as an app for Android and iOS, with a Web interface thrown in for good measure. If you want to upload photos from a computer, use the Google Photos Backup desktop uploader for Windows or Mac, which might have been an ideal solution for some. You can still browse through pictures on your device as if they were stored locally.
Other cool features
There are other cool features like the ability to create intelligent collages, panoramas, and animated gifs from multiple images. You can select multiple images by simply sliding your finger instead of having to tap each picture individually. You can also share pictures with anyone, even if they don’t have Google Photos.
It’s like no other
While Apple has a similar offering, the free plan offers limited storage and, of course, works only with Apple devices. Flickr is perhaps the closest competitor with 1TB storage for free. Amazon offers unlimited free space for photos but not videos. No one quite offers the extra features of Google Photos.