It has almost been a month since Google Photos has rolled out to the public, and I’m surprised at the number of people that I talk to that have not even heard of it. My surprise stems from the fact that they offer FREE UNLIMITED storage of pictures AND videos! That, alone, had me hooked.
My Life BEFORE Google Photos…
Seven years ago, we had our first of three children. And like most parents in the first years of their child’s life, you record everything. Before Google Photos, I was using…
- an external 1TB hard drive
- sync software that synched photos on my computer with the external hard drive
- Flickr (once it offered 1TB of free online space)
- YouTube to sync private videos
There was some trial and error with other tools, but this became the norm: several hours of my life either syncing or uploading.
On top of that, I had to be a psychic and predict when to sync before my computer or phone would crash.
AFTER Google Photos…
Now, I have Google Photos on my phone and my wife’s phone and both logged into the same personal Google account. Whenever I or my wife takes a picture/video, it automatically uploads (over WiFi or Data, your choice) combining ALL of our pictures and video in one place. Not only that, I also took several hours to pull 7+ years worth of photos and videos from the other five or more storage places and imported them into Google Photos.
Since moving all of them over to Google Photos, there have been some expected and unexpected advantages.
United at LAST!
FINALLY everything is in ONE place. No more having to dig through folders of pictures or even remember where they were stored. Not only that, it is VERY helpful and exciting to see my pictures stored with my videos.
A Face with a Name
The way Google automagically organizes my photos is slick, especially the face detection. This is something found in other photo storage applications, but with Google, it recognizes faces even as they change over time (see first video below). It recognized my 7-year-old from now all the way back to the day of his birth. Google just made finding photos for his graduation in 11 years VERY easy. Google Photos also recognizes objects within photos. I type in “swimming” and get pictures from the swim meets.
No More Labeling Folders
In order to remember when the pictures were taken, I would have to make sure I label the folders Season/Year or Event/Year. When I pulled all of photos and videos into Google Photos, they became automatically organized reverse chronologically.
Personal Photo Curator and Artist
Based on the time/date/location of my photos, Google will automagically create for me stories, movies, collages, effects. All I have to do is hit “Save” or simply dismiss it.
What about Privacy?…
Google has come out and said (see full that includes this excerpt here):
Sabharwal told HuffPost that the images a user puts on Google Photos would never be used without an “explicit ask” and “explicit consent” — beyond just agreeing to the terms when you sign up.
How do I switch?…
Here are two screencasts I created to explain the process and how to set it up on your mobile device.
Switching over to Google Photos has been a lot like experiencing the movie Inside Out. Every picture or video is a memory orb, and those orbs are stored in the long and short-term memory. It truly has been fun and easy to scroll through the memories and relive some that I even forgot about. My kids LOVE accessing the photos on the iPad and watching videos from days they were too young to even remember, but they ask about it. Reliving those moments has made a positive difference in our family.
P.S. Were my videos helpful? Have you made the switch? How has it made a difference for you? Let me know in the comments below.