Google Photos may not be a revolutionary idea, but Google hopes its implementation changes the cloud storage landscape forever.
As easy and prevalent as digital photography is these days, one of its greatest benefits has also always been one of its greatest weaknesses: what happens when a hard drive holding an entire digital library fails?
Google decided to solve this problem by upping its game in the cloud storage arena with the introduction of Google Photos. Google announced this program at its I/O conference last week, and it is available on both Android and iOS devices as well as via web browsers. Users download the app to their smartphones, and it automatically backs up all photos on that device to the user’s Google Drive account. Most smartphone camera pictures will be small enough in size that it will not take up any space on the user’s Drive, meaning they will have virtually unlimited cloud storage.
The Google Photos app is fairly straightforward to use, but users with a lot of photos on their device will need to prepare for the upload process to take a while. Depending on internet speed, uploading 5,000 photos from a phone to Google Drive could take hours. The good news is that once those photos are uploaded, they can be deleted from the device to free up space for more photos, apps, games, music, or movies.
The app also takes some liberties with photo collections and creates animated images and photo collages. Using multiple images of the same subject, Google Photos created animated gifs to give photos a more lifelike look. Users can then share those animations through social media. Additionally, Google Photos recognizes images that were taken in similar settings at similar locations and groups them together into “photo albums.” For example, the app recognizes a group of photos that were taken during a trip to Disneyland and creates a digital photobook that can be saved to Google Drive.
Google Photos also recognizes faces and can group photos together that way. For example, it can group all photos of a single person together for easy searching. These photo collections are viewable within the Google Photos app.
With Google Photos being the mobile tool to ensure photo collections are accessible anytime from anywhere in the world on Google Drive, Google is trying to stake its claim as the simplest and best cloud storage provider. The multi-platform system is set up in such a way that users could even have every member of their family backing up photos to the same Drive account, ensuring all their photos are captured forever.
While most smartphone pictures will be able to stored without affecting the user’s Drive space (all Google users are given 15 GB of Google Drive space for free), photographers who use DSLR camera or take photos at a higher-than-normal resolutions, will have those photos count against their storage space. Google offers increased storage options beginning at 100 gigabytes for $1.99 monthly.
[Image via The Wherever Writer]