You may have heard this spring that Google had separated Photos from Google+, into its own separate product. I never really used photos in Google+, but I was very interested in a new way to store, access and back up my photos. In the few weeks I’ve been making use of it, I’ve really fallen in love in Google Photos. Not only does Google store all my images, by date, but it also automatically creates “stories” out of images from a single occasion, stylized photos with filters and frames and animations from multiple images. It’s a really neat tool.
3 Reasons I’m Loving Google Photos
1. Back up
Recently, attempted to update my computer and ended up with a machine that wouldn’t boot. I was so grateful at that moment that I’d backed up all the photos on my computer on Google Photos. There’s a lot of comfort in knowing that my photos are all safe (I’ve also implemented BackBlaze, because the more back ups the better!) Because the photos from my phone are already of mediocre quality and I put full size images from my camera on my laptop, I use the “High Quality” sized photo back up, which means unlimited storage for me.
This is my favorite thing about Google Photos, for sure. Because Google’s main game is still search, the search feature is pretty awesome and effective. It’s not perfect, the search “zucchini” yielded a photo of roasted Brussels sprouts. But, the search “farm” yields the following, not 100% accurate, but pretty good results (there are some zoo photos and images of the horses we saw on Assateague Island):
The vast majority of my photos are not tagged or named; the files names are whatever my camera names them. So the fact that I can find a photo for a given topic, like a random highlights post, from any of my images is awesome. Google Photos also automatically creates indices of photos for you based on people, places and things (my things include food, wedding, beaches, sky, birds, monuments, Christmas and cars).
3. Automatic uploading
The initial back up took a few days, but now every image on my laptop and phone automatically uploads to Google Photos. This is great for back up, but more awesome for saving time. I used to manually upload photos through Dropbox (I realize there’s an auto-upload feature, but it didn’t play nice with my phone), but I only ever remembered to do that when I was in the middle of writing a post and then I’d end up with more photos on my hard drive than I wanted. With Google Photos, I can look at all the images from my phone and computer, select just the ones I want to use and download them to my computer if necessary.
Farmer’s market panorama automatically created by Google Photos
I know some people have some concerns about Google and privacy, but I’m a big fan of Google products in general. As is my feeling overall with Google and other internet information companies, the benefits are outweighing the risks for me. Google Photos has made my blogging easier and provided me a new way to look at my photo collection, on my computer and my phone. If you haven’t check it out yet, I suggest you do!