There was no louder applause during the keynote this morning than when Anil Sabharwal, Director of Photos at Google, announced that Google Photos will offer unlimited storage of users photos and videos for free.
This was the knockout punch to an already impressive presentation on everything that Google Photos is bringing to users starting today on Android, iOS and the web. Now if you have been backing up your photos to Google+ for years already or using the existing Photos app on Android then a lot of this will no doubt sound familiar, but stick with me because there are some new features for you too.
A home for all your photos and videos
This was the first of Google’s three primary focuses for Google Photos. It is meant to be a place where you have access to all of your photos regardless of which device you are using. Hence having the app available on Android, iOS and the web from day one. Again you can back up unlimited photos at up to 16MP quality and unlimited videos at up to 1080p for free with Google Photos. It’s clear that Google wants to be your one stop shop for photo management and backup and this pricing could be a real dagger to the heart for offerings like those from Amazon and Apple.
Help you organize and bring your moments to life
The next major function in Google Photos is organizing all of your photos without your having to take action to sort them. Google Photos will allow you to filter your photos by the people that are in them or by the place that they were taken all without you having to do any sorting or tagging of your own. This automated sorting and filtering also allows you to search your photos in a way that never would have been possible before.
Even if you are just scrolling through your photos the experience will be greatly improved with Photos. The default view shows your photos by day, but a simple pinch zooms out to months and another pinch will take you to years. When you want to zoom back in another pinch will bring you back to first months and then days.
Again Google+ fans this is going to sound awfully familiar as this is simply Auto Awesome with new branding. If you swipe left in Google Photos you will see the Assistant. The Assistant will present you with videos, collages and enhanced versions of your photos that you can choose to share, save or delete whenever you want.
Make it easy to share and save what matters
This is the final piece of the puzzle for Google Photos. You can share photos with anyone by just selecting the photos you want to share by either selecting them individually or holding your finger down and dragging your finger across all the photos you wish to share. If you choose to simply get a link for these photos you will have a link that you can send anyone that is accessible via the web and not dependent on their having any specific app installed. If they do happen to have Google Photos then they will also have the option to save the photos to their own account.
While Google Photos Assistant will take a stab at the editing for you, you do of course still have the option to make edits to your photos yourself. When you have a photo selected you just hit the plus button and it will pull up some simple editing tools to help you tweak your photos to your hearts content.
Google Photos is live now on Google Play and the iOS App Store and rolling out to users on the web so go ahead and hit the link below to check it out now and let us know what you think.