Google Photos

There are already plenty of services which allows you to store images in the cloud, like DropBox, Amazon, Apple, and Google Drive. But they are all capped at certain storage limits for free users. Maybe 5GB, 10GB or even 15GB. But with Google Photos, you get unlimited free cloud storage. If you are someone who favors images less than 16MP, then you won’t have to spend a dime on additional storage, even if you have tens of thousands of images in your photo library. Now, if your images are greater than 16MP, you can store them at full resolution in Google Drive, which is limited to 15GB, or reduces the resolution to 16MP or go paid.

If there is one thing you would expect Google to get it right, its search. And it certainly did it with Photos too. Rather than searching by filename or any other metadata, you can just search based on the actual contents of the image. You don’t have to spend time tagging or adding descriptions. Google Photos cuts through all that with automatic item identification and categorization. Given an image, it can understand what the image is. You can search based on colors, items, locations and even emotions with surprising accuracy.

When you take a photo, if GPS is turned ON, location data is embedded in the image. All current apps detect location by reading this data. But Google goes a step further. It can detect the location from the actual image itself. It can recognize over 250,000 locations around the world. In case no location data is present in the image and Google can’t detect the location, you can always add it yourselves. Just edit the image, find the location on the map, and save.

Photos also come with a cool feature called Assistant. It creates interesting things from the images that you have uploaded. If you have multiple images from the same location, it may create extensive Panorama images. Or if you have images that come in sequence (like the one at the bottom), it shall detect the sequence, and creates animations and videos out of them. It may also apply conventional Instagram-style filters to your images. Also, if you upload copies of the same image, it shall detect it, and shall store only a single copy.

Another feature of Google photos is its smart image editor. When you edit an image, it shall take the people in the picture into account. So if you want to apply the vignette effect, rather than just darkening the edges of the image, it shall apply the effect in such a way that the effect is applied to the people in the images, and not the center of the image.

Like with any other online service, you’re trusting a tech company with your files and giving it more information about you.
So if you’re concerned with privacy, then this service is not for you.
But if you’re not, then you’d be hard-pressed to find a better solution than Google’s Photos.

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