Google+ Photos, you are so great and so stupid

What used to be the simplest, and now is the messiest


Disclaimer: I’m still on Android 4.4.2 KitKat. Apparently, there are some changes on 4.4.3.

Google+ Photos is awesome in almost everything. Auto-backup, edition, Auto-Awesome, and an incredible search engine. But the way it organizes the photos is, at best, an absolute mess.

I was doing some tests with it, and I discover this absurd behavior. When you’re on the Android app (I don’t know about iOS), which is kind of an “alternative” to the Gallery app, the first thing you see is all the pictures uploaded to Google+ Photos.

But let’s say that you want to see the pictures on your local folders (Camera, WhatsApp Pictures, etc). You have to open the navigation drawer (sidebar-menu), and find the option at the end, just before the trash. Because it’s not a menu you’d want to access often, I guess.

Now, you want to delete a picture (or a video). Well, it should be all on G+ Photos, if you activated the “auto-backup” feature, so no problemo. Well, careful. Because you have two trash icons, and one will delete the picture from your phone (keeping it on Google+ Photos), while the other one will delete it from everywhere, sending it to the trash. And there’s no way to know what’s gonna happen before you try (or before you read this).

On the left screenshot, you’re on the “camera” folder, where you can select one or more pictures to share or delete. See the trash icon on the top-right corner. — On the right screenshot, you decide to open the picture first, since you’re gonna delete just one picture, and the trash icon doesn’t appear until you longpress the picture to select it. There you have the other trash icon, on the bottom-right corner.

Now, which one of the two icons will do what? Can you guess? Is there any clue? Well, apparently, if you delete the picture using the first method (left screenshot), the picture is deleted everywhere, and you must restore it from the trash. With the other method, the file is deleted, but the picture is still on G+ Photos, auto-backed up.

Oh, and before you leave… Do you want to see the “auto-backup” pictures on Google+ on the web? Well, there used to be a menu (on the Photos section, of course) with all this. Now is gone. Almost gone, actually. To find it, you should guess first that you have to click on the search bar, and then a menu appears and you can select the origin of the pictures. With a hashtag. What? Yep.

There are a lot of weird things G+ Photos does, but it would be too long to cover everything, and I think this example it’s a good representation.

And for a little bit of opinion… I know there are a lot of albums, and pictures, and stuff; and it could be hard to organize all that. But I’m very positive I could figure a better way to do it in about 3 coffees.