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Google Photos – Cloud-Based Storage, Organization, Attractive Interface and More

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Google Photos is offering the users with free “unlimited” storage space for their photos and videos, only two years after another photo sharing community, Flickr, started offering a free terabyte of cloud storage.

While it is very hard to think of anyone who could be storing photos and videos exceeding the 1 terabyte mark, Google Photos comes in with limitations to this storage space. Only pictures with resolutions less than 16 megapixels can enjoy the unlimited storage. In other words, the storage offered on Google Photos ceases to be unlimited for images higher than 16 megapixels. According to Google, the latest photo sharing app will also help in auto-organization of images, a feature that is well matched by Flickr’s auto-tagging ability.

The most probable persons to benefit a lot from the new Google Photos are those on Apple’s iPhones. This is true because the iCloud Photo Library only offers a free storage space of 5GB.

Getting started with Google Photos

It’s very simple to get started with Google Photos. All you need it to point your web browser to the page photos.google.com and log into your Google account. You can make use of the “Download Apps” option on the menu to automatically upload photos from your Windows or Mac PC, memory cards or even camera. There is a system tray icon from where you can launch the web view or even play around with the upload settings.

User interface

Just like with any other Google application; Google Photos has a very clean, minimal and definitely attractive ads-free interface that features thumbnails of the images arranged by date. On the left there are small buttons that give the users, access to All Photos, Assistant and Collections. There is another overflow menu from where you can access more choices for Settings, Shared Links, Help, App Download and Trash.

When you click on a photo, it will be displayed in full screen view. Using the arrow keys, it is possible to move back and forth in your photo collection. There is an information button that brings out a panel on the right, where you can see the camera model used to take the image, size of file, among other details.

Photo editing

The Google Photos Web app comes with a set of photo editing and enhancement services; for instance, sliders for Color, Light, Vignette and Pop. There are color filters and more options for cropping and rotating the images. Despite these amazing photo editing and enhancement capabilities, it is true to say that Google Photos is still miles away from what Flickr offers in the same capacity; for instance, selective focus, Blemish removal, among others.

Sharing of photos

Google Photos is essentially a photo sharing application. However, it lags behind as far as social sharing is concerned, as there is no commenting, following or even favoriting images like with the case of Flickr. When sharing photos on Google Photos, the users have four options only: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and a sharable link. The poor side of the sharing services of Google Photos is that you can’t share photos via email directly; instead, the users will have to revert to the old copy and paste strategy.

Google Photo Cloud is not the best available

As noted earlier, you have an unlimited storage space for your photos and videos when using Google Photos. However, this only stands for photos that have a resolution that is smaller than 16MP. This means that for most images taken by smartphone cameras, Google Photos is a good option. It’s even much better than what iCloud Photo Library offers with its 5GB of free storage.

However, Flickr is a much better option considering that you’ll get better auto-tagging organization, no limitations based on photo resolution and you will also get advanced editing tools as well as slideshows. But since Google Photos is a new player, there is definitely more to come and hopefully, the near future will see a much improved and superior Google Photos.