When it comes to photo organization apps, Google once again hit this one out of the ballpark. It’s virtually like having your own personal organizing assistant and photo library all in one, and it’s free. It safely backs up all your photos in the cloud and automatically organizes as well as labels them. And not only photos, this app takes care of your videos as well.
In the beginning it guides you through a quick how-to-use tutorial, where it teaches you how to select photos, navigate through them and find the ones you’re looking for. The fun part is, that the app doesn’t just organize your photos by date like you would expect, but it goes above and beyond.
By using geo-tagging and facial recognition the Google Photos app even catalogues your photos by subject (you could type in the word “dog” and it would find all of your pictures containing dogs).
It’s also very easy to operate, just swipe left and right and pinch the screen to zoom in and out. That’s all. Even when creating collages and videos, you only have to tap the pictures to choose them and the app does the grunt work for you. All you need to do then is click the share button.
The Google Photos app has basic photo editing tools, but it offers you the chance to turn your ordinary photos into collages, animations and even stories. I found the “story” feature the most interesting.
To create a story, you choose the photos you want included and, again, the app does everything else. You then add the title of your story and a description under each photo and you’re done and can share it with the world.
This is a great feature to use for a travel journey, because the photos are automatically arranged by date and at the same time separated as if they were chapters.
The app also offers you free and unlimited storage for all photos under 16 megapixels and HD videos (but only 1080p resolution or less). This sounds great for your average Joe, but it wouldn’t quite cut it for a more demanding user, such as a professional photographer, who wouldn’t like their photos being compressed. (However, if Google does compress your photo, you still have access to the original uncompressed version, you just need to download it.)
But the app also provides you with an alternative, the Original resolution plan. But there’s a catch. This allows you to backup videos and photos exactly the way you captured them, but it uses the available storage in your Google account (so no free storage in this case). But if you’re just using your phone to take photos and video, then the High-Quality (and free) plan is all you will need.
Another useful feature is that Google Photos is also available on the web, where you can simply drag photos (entire folders) from your computer and add them. By synching your account, you can access your photos from any device, just as long as you have the Photos app installed.