One of the best apps on my phones is one I hardly ever notice, until I go looking for a photo. Google Photos helps save any photo I take with my device to the cloud so I can delete the image from the phone. Google just did a full remodel update of Google Photos making it easier to use and sort through the thousands of photos you’ve taken through the years.
The new update makes it easier to see photos and albums with larger image thumbnails. At the top of the app there are image categories. “New” are the images uploaded most recently followed on a carousel of photos taken on this date through the years. If you enjoy Facebook memories you’ll enjoy this feature. Below those options is your library, sorted by date. Tapping on one you’ll see an option to share it to social media accounts or send to someone in your contacts. You can also text the photo.
The most useful feature in Google Photos is, and always has been, the ability to automatically save photos as you take them and organizing them by date, scene, place or person. When you tap “Search” you see an option to browse through people and pets. Yes, if you take a lot of photos of your pet Google Photos helps find and organize those pictures.
Using facial recognition Google Photos can spot each and every face in all of your photos. You can add a name to one photo and the app will connect the name with every instance they show up in a photo.
Since I’ve taken a few photos of my daughter’s sphynx cat “Skinny”, her photo icon and name pop up in search. When I tap on her name, every photo she’s pictured is displayed on the screen. I can create a photo album or even order a printed album filled with pictures of her. Google Lens is built in to Google Photos. When I tap the Lens icon, Photos uses artificial intelligence to recognize the sphynx cat and shows me websites and Facebook pages dedicated to hairless cats.
The latest update to Google Photos has added a maps feature (finally!) where you can search for photos taken in a certain city. I searched for photos I’ve taken in Las Vegas in recent years. Google Photos showed me all of those pictures I’ve uploaded and puts the location of where the picture was taken on a Google Map. This comes in handy I think for vacation photos where you’ve visited the same place more than once.
The app also shows categories. For example, my son is a marathon runner. Google Photos shows me a thumbnail with the title “running”. By tapping on it, I can see every photo I’ve ever taken of a race. Other activities shown for my account are ‘stadiums’, ‘swimming’, ‘weddings’, ‘Christmas’, ‘boats’ and ‘sky’ to name only a few.
Over a billion people already use Google Photos each month but I’ve talked to many people who are unfamiliar with it or who might have downloaded but never used it.
Like most other Google products, “Photos” is a free app for iPhones and Android devices. You can also use it on desktop or laptop computers.
It’s a powerful photos app. If you already use Google products, Google Photos is a no brainer.