I have an iPhone and a hard drive full of pics, so why should I download Google Photos?

I have an iPhone and a hard drive full of pics, so why should I download Google Photos?

July 3, 2017 Apps Cloud Photography 2

There comes a time with any smartphone owner where we get a dreaded message along the lines “Device out of memory, please free up space”.

Inevitably, you get this message while you are at the latest rooftop bar with an unreal sunset happening right before your eyes. You panic as you realise you don’t have time to go through all those gems taken a few weekends ago. So what do you do? Delete some of those less frequently used apps to quickly free up space. Phew, sunset snapped, straight to insta #nofilter. Two weekends down the line, while sipping on a gin on yet another rooftop, you hear an epic tropical house remix of an 80’s classic, you whip out your phone to discretely Shazaam the song, and it dawns on you that you deleted Shazaam a few weeks ago to get that sunset pic!

There is a very simple fix to the conundrum faced above. Google Photos. The reason I would recommend Google Photo’s over any other current solution is due to it having UNLIMITED FREE PHOTO STORAGE (both phone and desktop)! This means that all your photos will not count towards your iCloud storage limit (and there are some other cool tricks which we will discuss later).

So, how does it work?

When you download Google Photos onto your iPhone/Android Phone/Desktop you can select various folders to backup to your Google Photos account. After the backup is done, you can choose to delete all backed up photos from your device to free up space. The Google Photos app will do this for you to photos it has only made sure are backed up.

So, what next?

Let’s put this in a list.  If you have the app already, jump to step 5.

  1. Download the Google Photos app from either the AppStore / Google Play Store / Desktop (Its not often apps get a 5 star rating on the AppStore)
  2. Open up the app and sign in with your gmail account. If you don’t have one, I would highly recommend it, I will explain why in my next post.
  3. Go through the app tutorial to find out the basics. Don’t just click next next next.
  4. Ensure that your backup and sync settings are set to WiFi only. Do your initial backup of all your photos. This could take some time depending on how many photos you have.
  5. Click the menu button (three lines, top left) and find the option “Free Up Space”. Click on this.
  6. Yes, it’s scary, but click the confirmation button to “Remove #### Items”. The app will then say “Processing #### items”
  7. If you are an iPhone user, you have one more step to go. Go into your “Photos” app and go to your album “Recently Deleted Photos” and delete all of these photos.
  8. Voila! You have now freed up a load of space on your device and can snap to your hearts content!

You mentioned Desktop?

Yup! One of my favourite parts of Google Photos is UNLIMITED FREE PHOTO STORAGE! This means that you can backup all your photos that have been taken in the past and are stored on some hard drive or old computer. This can either be done by an automatic backup program or by simply dragging and dropping your desired albums into an open internet browser. When you go the browser route, try drop one album at a time, this makes things quicker and reduces the chances of a browser fail mid-upload 🙂 Tip: Make an album on Google Photos before you upload the photos, drag and drop your photos from your computer into your new Google Photos album, this will help keep your Gallery tidy and organised.  Think about  the endless photos of your junior school sports day / holiday snaps etc.

That’s not all folks!

With this being a smart photo solution there are many awesome features that Google throws into the mix. Again, a list is easier:

  1. Photo recognition – A day or two after your first upload, try type in the search bar “Food” or “Golf”. Google will then pull up all your photos of food/restaurants or golf courses.
  2. Facial Recognition – Google will automatically group photos of people based on their face. Spending 3 minutes to type in their names will then provide easy access to the search functionality described in step 1. For example, in the search bar, type “Catherine and James” and all photos in your library that have  Catherine and James in them, will come up.
  3. Shared Albums – When you make an album in Google Photos you can share it with other Google Photos users. It allows comments on photos and videos and the people you shared it with can also then download the photos into their photo gallery by the click of one button. This does not use any data as this all happens behind the scene in the cloud.
  4. Edit photos quickly – Google photos has a very easy and quick photo editing element to it. You can quickly edit photos and share them via the app to various other apps. My favourite tool to have a look for is the “Deep Blue” slider at the bottom of the “Colour” options
  5. Cloud Stuff – As we are now in a cloud age, Google Photos can be set up to show on many devices with a screen and an internet connection. You can do this via AirPlay on Apple devices (to Apple TV) or if you have a Chromecast, you can easily Cast your photos on your TV. If you are going the connected home route, you can simply say to your Google Home, “Hey Google, show my album Holiday in Scotland on the TV” and your album will show up on the TV as a slideshow
  6. Edit those shaky videos – Google Photos now has functionality to reduce the shake in your old bouncy videos

The great thing about Google Photos is that it is constantly being updated to become better and better. Keep the app up to date and stay on top of your photo gallery!

For all queries related to Google Photos, have a look here

Any comments or questions, please leave a note below

2 Responses

  1. Mb says:

    Hey can you tell me why the shared album has a maximum capacity and if you know when that limit is going to be increased?

    • Richard says:

      Hey Mb.

      Currently the limit is at 2000 images per shared album.

      Although Google hasn’t got an official stance on this, one of the reasons being floated around the support forums is that the limit is there in order to keep Shared Albums specific to events and rather than become a ‘shared library’ between people.

      Google have recently updated the app to included a shared libraries function. You might want to have a look at this? Find it here

      Thanks. Richard

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