If this is your first time here, you might not know that we love Google Photos. Granted, it’s not perfect (what is?), but nothing else comes close to combining ease of use with powerful organizational tools. Here are 5 top reasons to start using Google Photos today.
Google Photos is free to use, all you need is a Google account (also free). Install the app on your iPhone (if you use an Android it should already be installed), allow it the permissions it needs, and it will handle just about everything else. All you have to do is take pictures.
Google Photos stores all photos in one place, BUT, it groups them based on place, date, event, objects in the photos and people. Automatically.
Looking for pictures of your Uncle Steve? Search, select the people bar and look for his picture. Tap his picture, and Photos will show you all the pictures he’s in. Need to get more specific, say pictures of Uncle Steve at Christmastime? From that same view (the one that showed all the pictures of your uncle), type in Christmas, and it will filter those results. Photos will show you pictures based on who (like your uncle with Santa Claus), what (Steve in front of a Christmas tree), the place (Uncle Steve fishing at Christmas Reservoir) or the date (Steve at the family Christmas party on December 5th).
Again, all this is done automatically.
This is one of the biggest advantages of Google Photos. Instead of spending hours organizing your photos, Google does it for you, and it keeps them organized.
You can easily select photos and share them with anyone whose email address you have. They can comment and add photos (if you allow them). It’s an easy way to collaborate and share photos.
If you have old printed photos, Google PhotScan is a lifesaver. This is technically a companion app to Photos, but it is a great way to get print photos into this digital world. To read more about it, read this blog post.
You don’t want to lose your photos. When you use Google Photos, everything is stored on Google’s network. So you don’t need to worry about ever losing them (unless Google or the Internet cease to exist).
Once you’ve taken a photo and allowed Photos to back it up (which could take a few minutes connected to a wifi network), you can remove the photo from your phone and still view it over the Internet. This ensures you have a safe copy of the photo AND can free up storage space on your phone.
This storage is free too if you choose “High Quality.” The other storage option is “Original,” and this is one of the biggest points of confusion.
Google gives you the option of storing your photos in what it calls “high quality” or “original.” The high-quality setting has a qualifier, which gives many people pause about selecting it. What does “Great visual quality at reduced file size” mean?
Google uses a compression algorithm to reduce the size of the image. In most cases, reduced image size means reduced image quality. When you’re talking about family history and memories that you want to last forever, reduced image quality isn’t something most want to consider.
Yet somehow Google has found a way to reduce the file size while maintaining image quality. One of the best articles I have read that explains AND shows this can be found on phonearena.com. This article has side-by-side comparisons of original and “high quality” photos, and you can see that the reduction in size is sometimes significant, but the reduction in image quality is not.
Simply put, Google’s photo compression algorithm does reduce the file size, but image reduction is almost non-existent.
Start using Google Photos today to capture and keep all the memories you make. If you have questions, post in the comments section, or you can buy our book, “The Complete Guide to Google Photos.” In it, we cover every aspect of how to setup and use Photos, including managing, sharing and curating photos and albums.