After months of speculation, rumours, and naysaying, Google officially unveiled their new Google Photos app and service at Google I/O. The standalone service will not require a Google+ account to use, anyone you choose to will be able to see photos and videos even if they don’t have a Google Account, and the Google Photos app will be the hub on your mobile device for viewing, editing, and sharing your photos and videos.
The new Google Photos experience focuses on three things: a home for storing all your photos and videos, help organizing your photos and videos and bringing your memories to life, and finally making it easy to share and save what matters most to you. After you’ve set it up, Google Photos will automatically backup all your photos and videos from your smartphone, tablet, computer, and even camera memory cards. The default ordering for images when viewed using the app or website is by date, pinch zoom to compress the view to months, pinch again to compress for years. Likewise, pinching out will zoom from years to months to dates. Swiping to the right will bring up your collections such as albums, montage memories, and stories.
Google has also improved on their photo recognition grouping and without having to add any tags to your photos, Google Photos will auto-organize your photos into people, places, and things that it thinks matter most to you – all based on the photos you backup to the service. You can also easily search and find photos using normal language syntax, i.e. “2006 Toronto snowstorm”, and then edit, select multiple photos to manually create stories or auto awesomes, and easily share to any service like Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Swiping left will bring up the new photo Assistant which is where you’ll find the stories, edits, and auto awesomes automagically done for you courtesy of Google.
Finally, sharing. Not everyone is on Google+, or Twitter, or even Facebook for that matter. With Google Photos you can now drag to select multiple photos, and then generate a link that you can then text, email, or otherwise share with other people. All the recipient needs to do is click on the link and they’ll be taken to the Google Photos site to view the photos, and if they have a Google account they can then copy all the photos you’ve shared with them to his or her Google Photos library instantly.
Probably one of the best things about Google Photos is that it allows you to backup and store UNLIMITED high quality photos (maximum 16MP size) and videos (maximum 1080p) for FREE. No cost. Nadda. Zip. Zilch.
The Google Photos site is currently up, but is featuring a placeholder as Google Photos will be rolling out starting today for Android, iOS, and web users.
What do you think about the new Google Photos service? Are you planning on using it? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.