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Google Basics Part 5 – Google Photos

Part 5 of our Google Basics series is Google Photos!

Want to know the ins-and-outs of the best photo management app on the market? Google photos will make it easier to access your photos, it will more efficiently organize your photos, and it has some really cool features supported by Google's AI as well. First, two disclaimers!

If you're interested in knowing more about how Google Photos manages your private information we will be covering privacy and security within Google Suite later on in the Google Basics series, so keep an eye out for that video!

Additionally, Google photos has some different technical features depending on which region you are in. It is possible that some of the things we cover in this video will not be available in your region. Likewise, it is possible you have access to some features that others do not. Hopefully, all of these features will be available globally eventually. Until then, we hope that what is relevant to you is useful to you!

Setting up Google Photos

Setting up your Google Photos account is easy, it is included for free with your Gmail account and you can use it on either your desktop computer or your mobile device. It should come as a stock app on your Android device and if you use an iPhone you can just download it from the App Store and sign into it using your Gmail account.

Upon signing in Google Photos will ask for permission to access your photo gallery and then it will sync all the photos you have stored in the cloud. Just remember that this can take a while! Maybe even in some cases up to a few days, so if you are missing some photos just wait and it should all sync up if given enough time.

Basic Photo Management and Sharing

All of the same management and sharing functionality is available on both the desktop and the mobile version of the Google photos app. There's no discrepancy between the two so you'll always be able to make the same edits on the same photos no matter where you access those photos from.

Within the app you have some basic editing options when clicking the slider icon. This is where you can apply filters, adjust the brightness and colour contrast, or crop the photo for better dimensions.

You also have access to some sharing options within the app by selecting a photo and clicking the upload icon  (a square with a directional arrow on the mobile app, three dots connected by lines on the desktop app). Here you can share the photo, or select multiple photos, to share to different accounts onto different platforms. For example, you can share it to your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account all all the same time, or if it is a work photo you could send it to a Slack group!

Wherever your photos need to go, and whoever you want to see them, Google Photos can do it.

Google Photo Information

Every photo stored in Google Photos has quite a bit of useful information attached to it. Google Photos will tell you the date each photo was taken, the time it was taken, the resolution and size of the photo, the specs of the phone camera which took the photo, and it will even geotag the location of the photo showing you where it was taken on Google Maps. Creepy? Maybe! Useful? Definitely.

Can't remember when your friend's wedding anniversary is? Look at the date of the photos you took of the reception! Don't remember where you had that great meal? Look at the geotag on the photo you took of the appetizer! Need an alibi? Prove to the police you were actually at the dog park that afternoon!

This metadata is super useful for posterity and for those who want more advanced ways of categorizing and tracking your photo history.

Google Photos Facial Recognition

Perhaps the most amazing feature of Google Photos is the facial recognition software inherent to the app.

Google Photos uses machine learning algorithms and an artificial intelligence called Google Assistant to identify people in your photos.

What this means is that Google Photos actually proactively recognizes and then remembers who is in your photos. By syncing with your Google Contacts it can match faces to people and people to faces and will tag all your photos which contain all your contacts. This even works for your pets! 

So now we can organize our photos chronologically, locationally, and people-y!

Google Photos Activity Recognition

But wait! There's more!

Incredibly, Google Photos even recognizes occasions and activities. You can search for ‘fishing' or ‘Christmas' and it will recognize when photos are fishing related or holiday related!

This is the magic of Google Photos, at a time when we are taking almost too many photos to effectively manage on our own, Google gives us tools that make this task not only quick and easy, but which actually enhance and expand our ability to manage our photos and keep record of our memories.

Google Lens

Google Assistant, Google's artificial intelligence, has practical uses beyond photo management and organization. Google Lens is an app which utilizes the AI to compute information contained in photos and to provide additional information based on what it recognizes.

For example, you can take a photo of a book using Google Lens and the app will use machine learning algorithms to recognize the book. Then it will provide you all the information on the book that would have been provided to you if you had searched for it on Google search instead.

Google photos makes it easier to access your photos, it more efficiently organizes your photos, and it has some really cool features supported by Google's amazing AI.

Until next time,

Have fun storming the castle!

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