Google Photos: Learn the Basics and Getting Started

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We all manage photos. And we want to have a better handle on storing, accessing and sharing what we have.

That’s what I continually hear when I talk with folks. Once you start considering the options, it quickly becomes overwhelming — iCloud, OneDrive, Google Photos, Dropbox, etc.

I decided to try Google Photos about a year ago — at this point, I have over 110,000 photos in storage. I’m sold. Here is what I find compelling:

  • Free storage — I elected the “high quality” vs full resolution storage option. At that level, everything is free. I chose that for two reasons: 1) faster rendering on my mobile devices, which is my primary access means, and, 2) I keep a separate full res backup elsewhere (which I strongly recommend).
  • Insanely easy to search and find photos and videos — with little effort in organization on my part.
  • The Assistant tool Google includes creates great content (collages, animations, movies, styled photos) on a regular basis, which I can easily add to my photos (or ignore).
  • The mobile user interface is amazing. I am comfortable doing anything I need on my phone. I sometimes use the desktop browser version for uploading photos, but other than that, I rarely use it.

If you’re ready to give it a shot, start with these articles.

Why You Want Google Photos

Editing pictures can be difficult and time-consuming. It’s also tediously labor-intensive to do creative things with pictures.
And at some point, all those photos can max out the storage on our phones. Yet we hesitate to delete them because we’re afraid of accidentally getting rid of pictures we want to keep.
The only product or service that solves each and every one of those problems is Google Photos
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Getting Started with Google Photos

Google Photos works across a number of platforms: Android, iOS and on theWeb. Like the Google Drive or Google+ apps before it, you can set the Google Photos mobile app up to backup the photos and videos you take on your phone. And like Drive and G+, Google Photos provides free unlimited storage when you opt for the High quality setting, which means full-res photos up to an ample 16-megapixel limit and HD videos up to 1080p. If you are dead set against any sort of compression, then you can choose Original, which saves full-resolution files that will count against your Google storage plan.
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Deep Dive Into Google Photos

Google Photos is laid out into three different sections, Assistant, Photos, and Collections. Photos is the primary page when you open the app, and is where all of your pictures are located. Assistant is the new name for what was previously known as Auto-Awesome. Stylized pictures, GIFs, videos, and collections all sit here waiting for your approval to add them to your photos. If there is a creation that you don’t like, you can swipe it away and never have to deal with it in your library. The last section is Collections, where your albums, movies, and stories are permanently located.
Tweet — “Deep Dive Into Google Photos”

Upload the Pictures, and Let Google Photos Do the Rest

The premise behind Google Photos is simple, and it works. Take all the photos you want, back them up automatically into the cloud and use Google’s powerful image search abilities to find them later — no sorting necessary.
Searches are impressive. I knew I had a lot of dog photos, but I didn’t realize I had so many photos of waterfalls and mountains. It automatically sorts the pictures into People, Places and Things, and the facial recognition is eerily accurate. It showed me dozens of people who recur in my photographs and did a pretty good job of sorting them accurately.
Tweet — “Upload the Pictures, and Let Google Photos Do the Rest”

Below is a recap of the above Tweets shared as a Twitter Moment. All in one place — can’t beat that!

About Don

Don Tomoff is a “recovering CPA”, who is passionate about helping professionals and organizations keep up and adapt to the changing business world that we operate in.

One lesson learned over the years is that all of us, regardless of organization type or size, struggle with similar issues — primarily information management and presentation, and effective use of our time. Let’s change that…one person at a time!

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