OMG. The coolest new thing I learned is Google Photos and the amazing things it does. It’s smarter than I am. Thank you yet again Google. I was immediately sold on just the basics offered by Google Photos. It will automatically sync your photos from various devices: your phone, tablet, PC, and laptop. All stay in sync. All stay organized. Then my next concern was, like iCloud, it sounds great but how much is storage going to cost for my massive library of pictures? I was pleased to learn that you receive unlimited storage for photos in “high quality” but you can also store them in original quality if you pay for addition cloud storage after the max of 5 GBs provided free. I don’t know how much compression is used under their “high quality” differentiation, but having free unlimited synced cloud storage makes up for it. I do not recommend ditching your originals. You should always have a backup of your precious photos on your computer, on storage media or in the cloud. I have my photos backed up on a hard drive in my PC, but Google photos will give me a free secondary backup (albeit in a reduced quality), in case that drive fails.
Sweet, free unlimited photo storage so I never lose a picture again. Of course, basic photo editing is included too. You can adjust light and color, add vignettes, crop and rotate, or apply filters. Are you sold yet?
If that wasn’t enough, Google Photos organizes for you. Everything is sorted by day, month, and year. You’re thinking, well duh. It organizes your photos is other far more brilliant ways. It has uncanny facial recognition and will sort all your pictures of all the people in your life. Do you want to see all of the pictures you have taken in your favorite hiking spot? It will organize your photos by place as well. Do you want to see all the photos you’ve taken of coffee? It will sort your photos by objects and themes as well. You can look at pictures of pizza, lighthouses or bridges. You can look at pictures of dancing, swimming or concerts too. It removes the need to organize really because your photos can be organized and reorganized in any manner you need. It is remarkable.
Once, your photos are in the Google cloud, the real fun begins. Google Assistant starts creating albums, movies and collages for you. Yes, Google is scouring your photos for info. Yes, this may unnerve some people, but hey, it’s Google: “Don’t Be Evil.” It is the coolest thing. I keep getting notifications that I have a new stuff that was created for me. A collage of Mrs. Woz and I at Fright Night, an album from my Spring Break trip six years ago to DC and NY and one from a Sunday in Santa Barbara. Both the Assistant and I have created animations by stitching together photos, like an animated gif from days of yore. I tried to include one of my step-son warming up for his baseball game. The Assistant created a movie by editing video clips from my step-son’s Arrow of Light ceremony together and adding music. Of course, there’s no doubt I could trim together a better movie from the video clips I took and make sure the things I wanted were in there. But now that the Assistant started the project, I don’t have to just save it and keep it as is. I can just save it, of course, and instantly have a cool little movie, but I can also go in and re-edit as I see fit, change the music, add clips or photos and finish the project as I see fit.
The next time your creating content for your classroom, start in your Google Photos when you want a cool background or a lighthouse or a sunset. No need to worry about ownership and copyright. Make the content you use!
I’m reliving the past decade now as it churns through all my digital photos that I’ve been uploading and the Assistant keeps working away creating new things.
Get Google photos now!