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Google Photos - Should you use it? Definitely!

Google Photos

google photos unlimited storage

Photos have always been an important part of our lives. Since the time of film cameras, people have been very passionate about clicking pictures and capturing memories which they can cherish later on. 

In those days, pictures were printed and kept safely in albums or attached to a photo book or scrapbook.

These days, with everyone having a portable camera on their smartphone, the number of photos being taken has dramatically increased. Having so many photos definitely brings to mind a very important question.
How to safely store these memories?
After all, a phone can store only so many and no one would like to delete their photos.
This is where Google Photos app comes into the picture. Though there are other ways as well, I personally feel Google's offering is a better option. Read on and I will tell you why.

Try the new google Selfie app that takes Portrait Selfies.

WHAT IS "GOOGLE PHOTOS"?

Google photos, as the name suggests, is a Google product. Initially, it was part of their social network Google+. However, it was later extracted and made into a standalone app.


It's an app that allows you to back up all your photos and video into Google's cloud storage servers. 

It has apps for iPhone, Android smartphones as well as desktop operating systems such as Windows and macOS. It can also be accessed via a web browser.

When installed on your phone or desktop, you can either allow it to back up all photos to the cloud or you can manually backup specific photos.




WHY USE GOOGLE PHOTOS?

Digital photos can be stored in many different ways like:
  • Storing on your Laptop
  • on an External Hard Disk
  • Creating a local cloud storage.
The first two options can work, but the third option is definitely not something a regular consumer would like to deal with. He/she would want something that just works easily and securely.

Google Photos provides a user with both these facilities. When you have all your photos stored in the cloud, you can access them anytime, anywhere. 

You can easily arrange photos into albums. And anytime you want to share them or show them to someone, you can easily do that via your smartphone. All you need is an internet connection on your mobile.

And nowadays fast mobile internet is easily available, not just in the US and Europe, but even in India. 


The arrival of Reliance Jio in India has led to a boom in 4G connectivity in India, that too at a cheaper price.

This portability and flexibility is something which is not possible with external hard disks or laptops.
Plus, google photos has quick editing features to edit both photos and videos. The photo editor has some cool filters. In fact, its Android app has an amazing feature to stabilize shaky videos. It's MAGIC! 

SEARCH BY FACE

Apart from the flexibility mentioned above, we also get amazing google image search. We all know Google is famous for its search algorithms. It employs the same for photos.
You can search your photos by type, date, keywords or even FACE.
Google, through its amazing machine learning algorithms, segregates various faces it finds in your pics. All photos of one specific face are grouped and the face is offered as a search option. So if you want to search for all your photos, just click search and select your face.
Google's algorithms are so good that they can even get your childhood photos, just from your adult face. It actually works and is like magic.
It can also get you results for specific keywords. If you search "Taj Mahal", then it can show photos where it can find taj mahal in your pics. Or if you type "dogs", then it will show you all photos having a dog in them.


IT HELPS YOU RELIVE YOUR MEMORIES!

In our day to day lives, we are so busy that we hardly find time to revisit old photos stored in external hard disks.

But Google photos allows us to relive these memories without us doing anything.
Google creates collages, movies, of photos and videos that you may have taken on a day some years ago. It then notifies you of this memory and gives you an option to revisit those memories.


So you don't have to specifically remember dates or find time to bring out your external storage to check out your photos. Google reminds you of all the pleasant memories.

And since all your photos are always with you, you can revisit any photo or album anytime you wish!

And they always stay safe. Your external hard disk may get corrupted and crash, or it may get stolen. But your photos in Google cloud will stay safe since google keeps multiple backups of the data.


...AND DID I SAY ITS FREE!

Google has 2 types of storage plans that it provides to its users.
One is a paid plan which gives you 15GB of space free and after that, more storage can be bought for monthly fees.
This plan stores all photos and videos in their original quality and is mostly aimed at professionals who want to keep their work untouched.
The second is a free unlimited storage plan which allows users to store images upto 16 megapixels and full HD videos.
This is the main plan which is aimed at the everyday consumer. 

Most people shoot photos and videos with their smartphones or a digital camera. These are usually Full HD videos and images are around 16 megapixels. Google allows users to store them without any storage limit on its cloud servers.

There is, however, one thing to keep in mind. All photos and videos undergo some compression which decreases the size of the photos and videos.

DONT WORRY, THE COMPRESSION IS NOT BAD

Even though it's a lossy compression, which means some data is lost from these photos and videos, it is not something to be bothered about.

As we have already stated, Google's algorithms are amazing. here also, these algorithms perform their magic and the end result after the compression looks the same as the original. 

A regular user won't be able to make out any difference.
Long story short, its worth it and shouldn't bother anyone.

WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND BEFORE STARTING

So it all looks good till now. And it definitely is!
But before you commit your precious memories, you need to make your account secure. Cloud storage is like a bank locker. Your photos will only be safe if your account is safe.
So before you start using google photos and back up all your precious memories to the cloud, make sure you have made your Google account as secure as possible. To do that, follow these steps:
  • Make sure you have a strong and unique password for your account. Don't use this password anywhere else.
  • Enable 2-factor authentification for your account so that your account stays secure.
If you need more information about these steps, let me know in the comments. I will make a separate post regarding them.


PARTING THOUGHTS

There is nothing to worry or be scared about. Google photos is an amazing product and provides you unlimited storage to back up all your photos and videos.

So you don't have to bother about space and deleting your precious photos.
If you aren't using Google Photos yet, you should definitely give it a try. You will be amazed by its capabilities and won't want to live without it. Trust me :)


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VIKALP GAUTAM
I am an ardent Techie and a Free Thinker. I love to explore new topics and technologies, and share my knowledge and views with the world.
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