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Google Photos Breaks Free From Google+


computerworld.com
The Google Photos platform has always been one of the best cloud-based photo library syncing tools out there, if not the best. The only real drawback was that it only worked as an appendage to the now rather tragic Google+ social media service. Now it's broken free, released as a standalone app on Google-based mobiles as well as Android and Apple, as well as browser versions for PC and Mac.

This new, fledged version comes laden with unlimited storage for photos and videos at gloriously high resolution, as well as a compliment of other new features. The most interesting one is the 'People, Places and Things' organisational system. Before you even get as far as searching, your pictures are already compiled into those three categories, based on what looks the same or similar. Respectively, the application relies on facial recognition (not who they are, just which faces are the same), geo-tagging (where applicable) and aggregate cloud computing to match shapes together. You can add more categories if you want, which will categorise things in the same way.

wallstreetjournal.com
As before, you can compile particular collections of photos into collages and 'stories'. Google does all the work for you, you just need to tell it which photos you want it to use but if you do decide to muck in, the app has some rudimentary editing tools. The search function is exactly as refined and sharp as you would expect. Searching for a location will give you everything relevant to that, to pictures you took while on a visit to reference pictures of local landmarks. It's remarkably easy to find exactly what you need.

The free storage service is limited to photographs up to 16 megapixels and videos up to 1080p, with everything else getting compressed unless you're willing to upgrade to a fee-based higher tier of service. It's unlikely that anyone unwilling to do so will need better storage than that and it's a damn sight better than the alternatives offered by Dropbox, Amazon and Microsoft. The downside of such large size caps is that it can be quite sluggish where loading times are concerned, but outside of that it runs like a dream.

businessinsider.com
Cloud-based storage and access is still taking a while to catch on, it's difficult to convince people that they will be able to access all their files even when they're so removed from the local source but Google are probably always going to the best option for these kinds of apps, since basically all image searching is done through them already anywhere. Users are more likely to trust a familiar interface.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Google Photos Breaks Free From Google+ Reviewed by Callum Davies on Friday, June 05, 2015 Rating: 5

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