Yesterday, Google announced its all new Google Photos app, and the reaction has been positive so far. In case you missed the announcement, here’s what you can expect from Google’s all new Google Photos.
An Old Familiar Feeling
If you’ve used Google+ Photos before (or even Picasa before that), you will find some similarities between what used to be and what currently is. Google is offering users unlimited photo storage, and the company has also created some other new and fun features. The new Google Photos automatically geotags your photos, so there’s no need to sort and sift through the photos that you do have, the app just does it for you.
Google Photos also uses face recognition to determine who is in a photo, and sorts the photos that way too. So, you can sift through your photos looking for one person or another, and the app is really good at picking out people based on face shape and other features. The app figures out where your photos were taken by various landmarks and objects in the photos, and will sort your photos based on this criteria for you, so you don’t really have to do anything at all.
Private and Secure
Google claims that Photos is entirely private, so you don’t have to worry about your photo library being shared (unless you want to share a photo, that is). It is a tad worrisome that Google is so good at identifying your friends and objects in photos (where is this information stored or where does it come from?), but Google maintains that the photos are entirely secure and private.
If you don’t want Google to identify the people in your photos, you can turn off that part of the app in the User Settings. But, the app will identify the people in your pictures if you don’t turn it off - in some ways, it’s a useful feature, but in other ways it definitely has a creepy factor. One other feature that Google has added is the shareable link feature. You can create a link to share with friends that are in a photo, and you can then see how often that link is shared. If you don’t want the link circulating, you can also kill it at any time - you can also share to the usual social networks.
If you used Google+ to store photos before, you probably remember the Auto Awesome feature. This feature automatically enhanced photos that you snapped, and it’s a feature that will remain with the new Google Photos. The feature can also create animations based on a set of photos, or develop stories based on a series of events. Regular editing tools are also available like cropping and basic editing options.
While the number of photos that you can upload is unlimited, the size is not. You will be limited to photos that are 16mp and videos that are 1080p. For other larger files, you will have to buy storage space through Google Drive. For a free storage option, those size limits are terrible though, so it’s something to consider. Are your photos truly private if you store them with Google for free? That’s the question that you should consider, but it’s not one that Google has answered yet.