How Google Photos will help you organize smartphone pics

Google’s new cloud-based photo storage service includes powerful pattern and facial recognition to help you quickly find images.

 

This may come as no surprise, but Americans take a ton of photos with their smartphones—6 billion a month, according to one study.

How do you keep track of all of those photos?

Enter Google Photos, a new cloud-based storage service available on Android™iOS or your computer’s web browser that promises to help better organize your gazillion pictures and videos, making finding, editing and sharing them a lot easier. It syncs with your device, making the whole process of backing up your photos seamless.

Say you want to share a picture you took of a bridge back in 2009. Where to start? No worries. Google Photos categorizes images with People, Places and Things tags, using facial recognition, image search capabilities and GPS to quickly hunt down those photos. In this case, all you have to do is search for “bridge.”

Search for an animal, and it will find cats, dogs and more. Although the app automatically groups photos into suggested keywords, you can search using any term that springs to mind.

Besides easy search, Google Photos also lets you create movies, interactive stories and collages from your photos in a simple manner.

“It basically does everything for you, so you can concentrate on taking pictures,” says Andrew Weeks, a professional photographer in San Francisco who freelances for Google.

Google Photos offers unlimited storage of pictures up to 16 megapixels and videos up to 1080p in resolution, so you won’t have to worry about running out of space. A couple things to keep mind: There will be some minor compression of those photos and larger media files can still be stored, but it will count toward your Google Drive™ storage capacity.

Weeks believes Google Photos will help change the way smartphone shutterbugs share and store photos for the better.

“Very soon, we’re going to start taking for granted how easy it is,” he says. “We’ll be telling kids: ‘Back in my day, I used to have to organize my photos!’”

 

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