Wednesday 28 June 2017

Google Photos is amazing - here's why you should be using it

Google Photos
Google Photos

Daniel Anderson

Google Photos is a free service which lets you work with your photos and videos to make sure they're stored forever and you can make them even better

Google Photos is an amazing and easy to use piece of software which has a ton of useful features for the amateur or enthusiastic photographer. Check out our top reasons why you should download it today!

Syncs All Your Photos Google Photos is a service which you can use to automatically upload every single shot you take. That includes the amazing photo of a tiny bird you shot from a half mile away with an enormous zoom, or the group shot of your friends from the pub last night.

Simply set up a sync pattern on your phone or desktop (ie: have it scan a folder for new pictures) and it will swallow up everything you snap and sync them into the cloud. And you get infinite storage at a lower resolution (around 3MP) which is fine for most purposes. You can also sync full res shots but they take from your overall Google storage allowance.

Videos Work Too It may be called ‘Google Photos’ but the app will also grab your latest videos and ensure they’re all synced and ready to view wherever you are. There’s no limit to how many videos you can upload (though it can take a while for them to go live) as Photos uses the YouTube interface to store them.

That means you can even download them again later if you want to store them somewhere else, or upload to another video service.

The Search is Amazing You can search for anything in Google Photos and it will try to give you a result. Dates are obvious and easy (provided your camera or phone had the right date and time programmed in) and geolocation data makes it possible to also search by place.

But this software goes further to allow you to search for very specific things. Try typing in food and the algorithms will go searching for items that look edible. You can even try dog or cat to find a snap of your pet, or the name of a person you know and it might manage to find a connection through your contacts.

Creates Smart Stuff Left to its own devices, the app will gobble up all of your videos and snaps from a day trip and automatically create a ‘story’ – complete with maps for your location and a linear look at what you got up to.

But there’s more – take a lot of photos in short succession and it will put them together as a GIF like animation. Capture something pretty and it might spit out a stylised or black and white version for your amusement.

With videos it all gets a little spooky. Google Photos works in the background and not only edits the footage into a format that’s often surprisingly good, but it even adds extra photos, fun filters and a music track. These robots are really talented!

RAW Files Amazingly, you can throw RAW files straight from DSLR cameras straight into Google Photos and they’ll be processed and appear like any other image. It works for the popular codecs from Canon and Nikon and provides a very simple way to create a (lower resolution) backup. Be warned though, these larger files can take a long time to upload.

It’s Free The absolute best part of Google Photos is that it’s entirely free. The app is available on Android and iOS and comes with all the features described as standard, including infinite storage at the lower resolution. There’s also a Desktop version which is a handy way to browse through your whole collection and a more accessible way to create your own albums, folders and attractive videos.

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