In the age of easy photo and video creation via smartphones and tiny digital cameras that pack a big punch, we quickly end up with a lot more files to manage, not to mention the need to backup photos!
In this post we’re sharing why we picked Google Photos over all the other storage and management options out there, and how we use it to simplify our lives.
- Finally a simple way to access all your media in one place, and keep it synced!
- Quickly find pictures of one person or theme from across your photo collection.
- Make more of your photo collection with no additional work.
1. Unlimited Free Storage
There are various companies that boast unlimited* storage, most fittingly some of the popular online photo printing places. While those options in particular make a lot of sense for photo storage, Google Photos wins out for us because of also storing videos, and what we’re calling “Super Awesome Search”. (see below)
*Do note that the unlimited storage is for up to 16MP photos and 1080P videos, which is plenty for most people for most uses. You do have the option to store larger files, you just have to pay when they add up to more than 15GB.
If photography/video/design is something you do for a living, this isn’t the best solution for your work because it compresses higher quality media down to smaller files. Images we might want to blow up into giant art some day we keep on our NAS drive. But for regular stuff? We absolutely use Google Photos.
2. Super Awesome Search
Google Photos automatically sorts files by date, but you can also create custom albums.
Where it really gets fun, though, is their image recognition – Google sorts your photos by faces, things, and places.
Some people might find it a little disconcerting, but I totally love it!
Here are some of the automatic groupings it created for our photos.
While it’s certainly not error proof, you can refine the results to very quickly and easily create excellent groups of pictures. You can even search by keywords like love, which returned these results, among others, for us.
3. Sync (and backup photos + videos) from multiple devices.
Not only can you pick which folders you want to sync from your device, but you can sync to one account from multiple devices. I hate having stuff scattered between phones, tablets, and cameras, so this simplifies a lot for me.
4. Sharing and Collaboration
Google Photos is a great way to privately share individual images or whole albums with friends and family without having to mess with social media. At the same time, it’s also really useful for social media sharing since you can access all your media from one place.
One other fun thing about Google Photos is the “Assistant” which automatically creates collages from your pictures and fun movies or animations like the one below. You can certainly choose your own group of images to create from, but I do like to see what it does on its own – it really simplifies things!
You can additionally do basic photo editing like rotate, brighten, color, sharpen, and what seems to be smart vignetting based on the light source, as well as basic filters.
Google Photos Cons
- In the same way I’ve never understood why you can’t create sub-boards on Pinterest, I’m also not a fan that you can’t create sub-albums in Google Photos.
- Albums do have a limit of around 2K images, so you could potentially end up with a lot of albums.
- I think it would honestly be better to be able to just tag photos instead of putting them in albums, per se.
You may wonder where Google Photos comes into play in relation to Picasa, Google+, Blogger, Hangouts, and Google Drive. The answer is that it kind of combines all of them.
Picasa and Google+ photos aren’t really a thing anymore, and there’s really no good reason to keep photos on Google drive, since it just eats up your space there.
Of course it’s never wise to store files in once place with no plan to backup photos, so my goal is to keep our favorites on our NAS along with the originals of those we may want to print in larger format someday.
So what are you waiting for???
Here are some scanner options you might consider for finally bringing all your old photos into the digital age.