Have You Tried Google Photos?

This is making me very happy.  One of the projects I set for myself this summer was getting all my digital photos together in one spot.  We’ve got them on all our phones and computers (and CDs from the before times) and thumb drives and backup drives and some on Shutterfly and some here and some there but it’s not what I like.

At first I was happy with Trunx. That’s an app you can download onto your phone and it backs up all your photos so you can delete them off your phone, have more memory and use their cloud services.  My first problem with Trunx came when I tried to backup al the photos on my computers as well.  I did something wrong and it backed up EVERYTHING including sample photos and icons and backgrounds and arrows and just too much hoo ha.  Then they went to a subscription service.  I was thinking I might have to pay for a subscription service like it,  but I wanted to do more investigating of other options.

Then earlier this year Amazon Photos came out and it did the same thing!  Technically it IS a subscription service but since I’m already a Prime member it seemed essentially free.  It backed up all the photos on the computers and phones and worked great and had a nice interface and all was well.  But they don’t do more than a few GB of video.  Which was fine, I figured.  They make you pay $60 more  a year for unlimited video and documents as well as the unlimited photos they already allow.  And I was considering it.

But THEN Google came out with Google Photos and it’s the sweetest thing ever.  It has unlimited free photo and video backups period the end.  It also has super freaky cool searching features.  And it’s “Assistant” makes little photo books and compilation videos that generally rock.

Here’s an example. We just got back from a week long visit with my brother and his wife and my nephew.  My daughter also brought along a friend and our poodle.  She (my daughter) has a waterproof camera we used nearly daily out in the ocean taking pictures and videos of each other getting smacked by waves.  So there were pictures and video from that camera, our phones, and my regular digital camera.  I uploaded it all but hadn’t gotten around to picking the best ones or putting them together in any way when the very next day the video in the link showed up.  The magical Google algorithm thing created it.  So I had a link the next day back from my vacation to share with the family and her friend’s mom!  Yes, if I took the time I could come up with a better one and I would use some different clips and photos but the point is, if you don’t know how to do that stuff or don’t get around to it, it makes some decent ones for you pretty much right away for free!

I got slammed by a million waves on this trip. Whew!

Every once in a while it makes one that’s pointless and I delete it but it creates movies, collages, enhances arty versions of photos and photo stories periodically and some of them are awesome.  Another fun thing it does is animations.  Let’s say you take twenty or so photos of a sunrise or something hoping to pick out the best shot later.  It will combine those into a funky animation.  Sometimes the most boring string of photos will be cool as a little gif-like animation.

But the important thing is, all of my digital photos and videos are stored FOR FREE as long as Google continues to exist.  Now it’s only all the photos and videos on my devices.  I have a stack of CDs I’m burning into there that are all the 2001-2006 photos I still have from before a big hard drive crash.  Then there will be the job of scanning in all the pre-2001 photos (that’s when I got my first digital camera).

And I’m still using the Amazon one too.  I’m not stupid; I like to have my eggs in more than one basket.  I also still use Shutterfly and even order physical prints of my favorites because who knows what will happen to all of this digital stuff?

The funny thing is, even though I have free unlimited photo storage, I still go through the photos and delete a lot.  It’s good to curate mostly because who wants to scroll through 5 kajillion photos, especially when there are blurry ones and giant thumbs? Its free and unlimited but I still just want the good stuff.

The sunrises were always the best.

For you, the main thing is, at the very least download the Google Photos app (or any other, similar photo backup app) onto your phone so it can backup all those photos and you can delete some now and then from your device’s memory so you never have that terrible moment when you want to take a photo and your device is full.  That moment sucks.


One thought on “Have You Tried Google Photos?

  1. This sounds like a very useful tool. Thank you! I’ve been working on my social media skills with Canva this summer and just discovered that Instagram will also post to Twitter and Facebook simultaneously. Whew. The life of a digital immigrant!

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