Google Photos – My First Look – Howtoshtab – how to, lifehacks, tips and tricks

Steve Dotto here. How the heck are you feeling this fine day? Me? I’m feeling somewhat grateful for all of you out there in the YouTube channel and I don’t know if I have mentioned it recently. So here I am mentioning it. I’m grateful that you’re joining us today and I hope that you are happy that you’re joining us today as well because we’re going to be taking a look at Google Photos, Google’s new photo-sharing tool that really in my mind replaces an awful lot of the different ways that I was trying to backup and share and store my photos in the past. So join me today on DottoTech for Google Photos.

Now Google Photos is a fairly new app, at least when I’m recording this particular demo, and it is a spinoff of Google’s social media tool Google+. They’ve taken the tool, the photo tools and then kind of spun it out of Google+ and I think that they’ve pretty much done a great job. Now here’s what we want from a photo app. We want something that syncs effortlessly with all of our devices. We want something that gives us control for building albums and other things and hopefully something that has some built in technology that will help us sort, organize and maintain our photo collection. Google Photos seems to do all of that. Now you access Google Photos through your Google account. So if you have Gmail or Google Calendar, if you look at the upper right-hand side of your browser window when you’re in that account, you’ll find Google’s application selector which allows us to choose which app or which of the Google apps we want to use and then you’ll find Photos right in there.

Now you have to set up your photos in Google Photos. You have to set up your parameters and there are a couple decisions that you’re going to have to make yourself. The first one is what resolution do you want to store your photos at and this is an important decision. You can store them in whatever resolution you took the photo and with today’s high resolution cameras, those can be very large files. If you choose the original resolution as far as for backing up and syncing using Google Photos then you’re going to be limited to the 10 GB or so of space that you have with Google Drive. Then if you want to have more storage, you’re going to have to purchase more storage. You’re going to have to purchase an upgrade from Google at whatever their going rate for storage is. If, however, you choose to use Google’s high resolution JPEG images, which are very good quality JPEGs of the photos you take, in that case you are unlimited in the amount of storage that you have access to.

Now what are you giving up? If you’re blowing up photos and doing huge, huge resolution, if you’re a pro photographer, you’re probably not going to choose this. But if you’re taking most of your pictures on an iPhone and they’re family pictures that you’re sharing on Facebook, you’re sharing and you’re storing and you’re occasionally printing off, then this resolution is going to be just fine for you. Now one of the keys to any photo app is how well it backs up and archives all of our photos. I had a dog’s breakfast in the past for my setup for photos. I stored some of them in Google and Dropbox, some of them in Google Drive. I stored some photos in Apples iCloud. They were all over the place and it was a mess. With Google Photos, when you set up your account, when you set up all of your devices to sync, you have to install the app on each of your different devices but then you start something called the Assistant which goes through and looks at your camera rolls, looks at your photo albums and it syncs all those photos between all of your devices. It took about two days for my photos to be all synced and I’ve got quite a few.

It’s not all my photos. I’ll be adding photos from the other services over time. But it takes a bit of time. It’s not the fastest thing in the world but it’s also not super slow when you consider how much data is being exchanged. So here we see my Google Photos in my browser window. I’ll show it to you in a moment on mobility platform on both Android and iOS because so often now we are going to managing our photos in our phone or on our tablets. But here we see the basic interface. There are really only two areas that we have to worry about when you start out with Google Photos. The first is here we’ve got a quick pick access to the kind of the main tools. Here we see the photos. I’ve got this selected here which is All Photos. The top one brings us into something called the Assistant. We could also get to the Assistant by popping out the menu here and seeing access to all of the main tools.

What the Assistant does is first of all, it facilitates all of the syncing between all of your devices. Then it looks at all your photos and tries to find commonality between them and tell little stories. It will create little collages for you or animated GIF images. There are like some collages. As I scroll down, here’s a nice collage of Shana and I. We went to the May Day’s Parade here where I live. There I took a whole bunch of selfies of us together as the parade was going by. I was trying to get all the shriners in the background and then indeed I got them. So there we are with a nice little collage. It pulled all those photos together for me. Now I never probably would’ve thought of it. I was trying to get one good photo as I was taking all of these but the collage is kind of nice, don’t you think? So we’ve got access to that through the Assistant. It also will tell stories, make little movies for you and that sort of stuff. So it’s kind of fun, I think. Now one thing about using Google Photos is it’s geography-dependent for some of the features that are in it.

It has to follow the laws of the land of wherever you live. So one of the tools, which I think is outstanding is in the United States, it has built-in facial recognition. It will go through and once you’ve identified this as Steve Dotto, it will then look for other instances of me and pull me all together and find me in other photos. That is a phenomenal technology, and from every indication that I hear, incredible to see, but I can’t show it to you. Why? Because the laws in Canada for facial recognition are different than in the States and we don’t have access to that tool here in Canada. Nor do you if you live in Europe. Only in the States and I’m not sure what other jurisdictions allow it. But eventually, hopefully, our laws will change or they’ll figure out how it all works. But there are going to be some features that are available in some countries that aren’t available in other countries.

That’s just the way it is in today’s international online world. Looking at the photos themselves, as you would expect with any photo editor, you can pop into the photo, you can share the photo into your main social networks, get a link that you can share the photo with because it’s all of course stored in the cloud. You can go in and you can edit the basic kind of color and the basic parameters within the photos, add some basic filters, that sort of stuff to the photos. Get information about the photo, where it was taken, the name of the photo, that sort of stuff. So you have all of that sort of access right within the tool. And we’re just skimming the surface of the tool. We’ll look at it in a little bit more detail and some of the features but whatever features I can show in the future here on the channel.

But before we get too far into it, I want to pop over and I want to show you Google Photo in Android and in iOS. If you’re looking at the screen right now, on the blue one here that I’m just activating right now is the Android version of this. It’s actually my Samsung Note Edge smartphone which I quite like. It’s got a nice huge screen. There’s Google Photos on the screen. If we take a look right here, I have the menu popped open, but we see the same photos all synced. As soon as you take a photo on it and you go into the Assistant, it will start a sync process for us. Let me just go back there. Sorry. If I tap on the Menu tool, which those little bars at the very top, we see the menu available to me of all of the different tools that are available. So the Assistant is there and it will do the same things here as it was doing on the desktop version.

It’s creating those collections of photos, doing that sort of stuff. But if we take a look at the menu itself, let’s switch over to the iPhone here and I have my iPhone 6+, here I’ve got Google Photos right there. I open Google Photos and looky, looky, looky, the exact same menu system. As a matter of fact, this is one case where when you look at it in iOS and you look at it in Android, you can’t tell the difference. I certainly can’t tell the difference. Do I think Google Photos is going to be the best photo sharing application on the planet? I don’t know. But it’s one that you should take a look at. You have access to it for free with your Google account. So I encourage you to download it onto your different mobile devices and set up a sync and see if it works for you. For me, the beauty is as soon as I take a photo, regardless of what device it’s on, I have access to it on all of my devices and I know that it’s backed up. So that peace of mind alone and that convenience alone works for me. And the price, you can’t beat free.

I hope you found today’s video to be useful. There are three ways to stay in touch with us here on DottoTech. First is subscribe to this channel. Second, subscribe to our newsletter and you’ll hear about all of our live tutorials and trainings. And finally, DottoTech is a community-funded channel supported through the generosity of our friends at Patreon. Drop by our Patreon page, have a look. There are perks that make it incredibly worthwhile to support DottoTech. Until next time, I am Steve Dotto. Have fun storming the castle..

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