Tips and tricks for getting most out of Google Photos app

Google Photos is one of the best apps for storing your precious photos and videos and the most easiest and convenient photo management service by Google which is definitely recommended for users.

During this year’s I/O conference Google announced their new app “Google Photos” to manage the digital photos and videos. Earlier Amazon, Flickr, Dropbox, Apple iCloud Photo Library were some of the names which people would prefer to store their photos in the cloud; however these services are either too confusing to use or they do not offer the features which is being offered by the Google Photos.

Though Google Photos service has been available for a while, it was integrated into Google+ and one could avail this service only by signing up for Google+. However, just a couple of months back, Google has introduced Google Photos as their new app and it is available for everyone. The app offers unlimited online storage space and unlimited backup for photos up to 16 megapixel resolution or videos  up to 1080p resolution. The larger files are stored on Google Drive. Google Photos can be used as an app for mobile devices or as desktop version.

This article highlights the awesome features of Google Photos app to get the most out of this service:

Uploading pics to Google Photos App: 

Desktop version of Google Photos is available for Windows as well as Mac OS X users. Click on this link and download the app on your desktops:

Further, if users already have a gmail account then they need to log in to this site  and simply drag the folders from their desktop and get their photos uploaded instantly into the app. In case of Android, iPhone and iPad users, installing the Google Photos app helps them to automatically take a back up of all the photos that are there in their smartphone.

As of now the Google Photos app is not supported by Window Phone. For users of Linux, they need to upload photos from web browser, however it is not advisable when there are too many folders to be uploaded. Users who store their photos in iCloud, OneDrive or Dropbox, need to first download the photos to some local drive and then send it to Google Photos as there is no cloud-to-cloud transfer option in Google Photos app.

Arranging the Google Photos app: 

The photos uploaded in Google Photos are arranged automatically based on the date it was taken and their location. What’s more the app can also recognize the subject of the photos with the help of machine algorithms; suppose user searches for ‘food’ or ‘dinner’ then the app would display all those photographs which are linked to dinner. Though the results may not be 100 percent accurate but it is an useful option. Users can also check the location of their photos by just dragging the photo to this link, Google search will help user to check the nearest location of that image and sometimes if the location is very popular it would even give the exact location.

Picasa has a feature known as Facial recognition and Google Photos too offers such a feature only to its users in United States.

We have seen some pros now lets also see some cons of organization issues with the Google Photos app:

  • The app does not allow user to search photos on the basis of date or tags
  • Google Photos dumps all the photos in a big pool and does not maintain the local album structure even if it was manually organized. Once uploading is done user can create their photo albums within the Google Photos.

Assistant feature of Google Photos app: 

This feature helps the user to do some creative things, such as user can select up to five photos or videos and then click create and then add your words. Now the story is complete, user can share this story with their friends.

Recognition of Duplicate and Near Duplicate Photos:

Google Photos uses a smart technology which is able to recognize the exact duplicate of an image in case it has already uploaded the original image earlier, thus it will skip uploading the duplicates from local drive. Interestingly, even if the file names have been changed and the photos are placed in different folders, it will not escape the scrutiny of the service and would get recognized and ultimately dismissed from the upload queue.

In case, if a file has been changed slightly, say the EXIF data has been changed or it has been cropped a bit then the service will consider this as a new photo and upload it along with the original image even though it is ‘near duplicate’. If users feel that they have large number of ‘near duplicate’ images in their folder then they can use their desktop tool such as Picasa to get rid of these ‘near duplicates’ prior to adding the photos to the upload queue of the app.

Deletion of Files by the Google Photos app: 

Once any file is deleted from the Google Photos app, it gets stored in the Trash folder for 60 days and then it is deleted permanently. Hence, in case user deletes a file and then realizes that they need it, user just needs to check their file in the trash folder within 60 days and they will get the required file.

One important instruction which user needs to follow is that whenever they upload the photos from their local drive be it smartphone or desktop, they need to delete the same photo from their local drive. Because, it could happen that in future user may delete that photo from their Google Photos app folder and even from the app’s recycle bin; however since the photo still lies in the local drive of their device it will immediately get uploaded to Google Photos. This happens with desktop drives and smartphones as well.

Sharing the photos from Google Photos app to other messaging apps: 

Users just need to select the photos (single or multiple photos) and click the ‘share button’ and just click whichever social networking sites they wish to share their photo. If they want to share multiple photos then Google Photos creates a semi private album which includes the selected photos and then Google Photos app downloads these photos and sends actual photos to other apps where user wishes to share the photos instead of just sharing the link to the album.

The only drawback here is that when user shares a link through Google Photos then anyone who has the link can easily view the shared photos. User cannot limit the view to only specific people as in case of Google Drive where the sharing can be limited to only specific email IDs.

Editing Photos in Google Photos app: 

Google Photos app provides an array of image editing tools to its users which not only allows basic editing but users can also apply Instagram like filters to their images. Users can develop animated GIFs, photo slide shows and upload it directly to YouTube from their app.

Well, lets also check certain tips and tricks which can help users to use the app to its utmost: 

  • Google Photos app does not have the capacity to sync photos on multiple smartphone devices or desktops. However, by using Google Takeout, users can download all photos from the app to the local drive of another computer. Then by using Google Drive users can turn on the “Automatically put your Google Photos into a folder in My Drive” option which is available in the settings. With this all the photos uploaded to Google Photos will be seen in the Drive and from here user can syn their Google Photos with any other computers just as they do for their Google Drive folder.
  • Since Google Photos API is not available users can use Picasa Web Albums Data API to access Google Photos.
  • Google Photos app is not Chromecast compatible but Android users can cast their Android screen which is able to mirror the details of their Android device and view their entire photo collection on TV exactly as they can view it on their smartphones.
  • By linking the Photos to Google Drive, users can attach any of their Google Photos in their email because otherwise the Gmail does not have access to Google Photos.
  • YouTube website has button which gives the option of ‘Importing from Google Photos’, thus users can pull any video from Photos app and straight away send it to YouTube.

Readers, let us know if you have used the Google Photos app and share your experience with us in the comments section.