- We are on a roll talking about the basics of using your Google account and we have reached part five! Today on Dotto Tech, Google Photos. Steve Dotto here, how the heck you doing this fine day? At Dotto Tech, we make technology easy so you can do more and we have reached the fifth in our series of Google Basics where we talk about all of the benefits of the Google ecosystem, of using your Google account, and all of the amazing and sometimes scary things that it does. And today, our topic is Google Photos which is perhaps one of the most amazing and definitely one of the most scary parts of the entire Google ecosystem because of privacy issues and just the incredible advances in technology but my oh my, Google Photos is one terrific piece of technology. It's convenient, it's flexible, it is ever so useful. I think you are gonna enjoy taking a look at it with me today. But before we do, perhaps a word from a sponsor. Before we jump into this week's demo, I have a question to ask. Have you heard about our podcast? Let me tell you about it. It's for those of us who are like me with a little gray in our beard. If you don't have a beard, perhaps gray in your hair. If you don't have any hair, I don't know, maybe eyebrows. It's called Grey Matters. You'll find links below. For those of us who are struggling to remain relevant in the digital age, Baby Boomers and Gen-X, those of us who maybe feel a little marginalized by what's happening in the online world, we deal with a little bit of ageism at workplace that doesn't necessarily value our contribution in the same way is it used to. What we should be doing to deal with those issues, call Grey Matters! Links are below! Have a listen! Tell an old person. All right, Google Photos. Then there's about six areas that I wanna talk to you about to give you a really good picture of how Google Photos works. Now, I kinda have two caveats that I wanna put out. First, I'm not gonna be talking very much about the privacy aspects of Google Photos. You're gonna have to obviously be concerned about your personal privacy, and Google Photos is one of the scariest apps that Google has in just how much information we are sharing with the cloud service and what the ramifications could be but we will deal with the privacy issues in a later video in this series. The other thing is based on different licensing and different capabilities or different laws in different countries especially on privacy, Google Photos has different technical capabilities depending what region you live in. So if I show you something that I can do here in Canada, there's a chance that you might not be able to do it in your region and in fact there might be things that you can do in your region with Google Photos that I can't do here in Canada and you're going, Steve, why aren't you showing this amazing feature that we all use? That's because it's different depending on where you are. So let's dive in and talk about setting up your Google Photos account right from the beginning. Now, it is included, Google Photos is included for free with your Gmail account. Now, you're going to use Google Photos both on your desktop but you're also gonna be using it mainly on your smartphone. Now, when you first set up your account, if you're on an iPhone, you have to download the Google Photos app to your iPhone. If you're on Android, the Google app Photos app is probably there already in your Google account but let me just walk you through the entire process of setting it up on the iPhone. What you do is you basically, you go to the App Store and you do a search for Google Photos. When you find Google Photos, you can then download the app to your smartphone and then you will sign in to that app using your normal Google account. So the accounts that we were talking about in the earlier episodes of this series, that's exactly what you use in order to sign in to your Google Photos account. Once you've done that, once the app is on your smartphone, you will give it permission to look at your library of photos and then it will sync all of the photos from your smartphone to the cloud to the Google Photos account in the cloud. Once it's syncing to the cloud, you can then access your Google Photos either on your desktop or on your smartphone. Now, be warned that the very first time that you set up Google Photos, it will take some time. In fact, it may take several days for it to sync all of the photos from your library depending on how many photos you have. It takes some time for it to sync but once that initial sync has happened, then the subsequent syncs are gonna happen very quickly. Now, I'm not sure if it's the same in the Android world as it is in the iOS world but unless I open my Google Photos app on my smartphone, I find that it doesn't sync the photos. Now, that might be something unusual in my setup, I don't think it is, so what you have to make sure you do is you start to rely on searching through your photos in Google Photos as opposed to in the iPhone Photos app. It's all the same photos. The same images are there. Mainly the same capabilities are there but though if you use the Google Photos app when you're on your smartphone, then you're sure that everything synced and you're working with the same copy of your photos all the time, regardless of whether you're on the desktop or in the smartphone. That's just kind of a little tip or the way that I like to run using Google Photos. Now, let's spend some time talking about basic photo management and sharing. And we can do all of the sharing, all of the management of the photos from either our desktop application or our smartphone. I've got them both open here for you to see and the exact same file is available to us. Now, let's just actually take a look at the desktop just for a moment. And as you can see down the left-hand side here, we've got a series of different menu items that allow us to sort the photos which is set up right now as a chronological offering. We could also view them by albums because you can sort your photos into albums, and the Google Assistant will use artificial intelligence to sort your photos for you into different collections for you automatically. There's a sharing menu here which allows us to manage how we share photos and albums and then a photo book option which allows us to create digital products from our photos. Before I leave this, if you want to create, sorry, upload other photos from your desktop that are not on your smartphone, you can do that right from the desktop here, the desktop uploader, will allow you to upload additional photos so you've got total flexibility of dealing with the exact same collection of photos on your smartphone or on your desktop. Let's go to the smartphone for a moment and take a look at the exact same photo library and we see the same options along the bottom here with photos, albums, the Assistant, and sharing all available to us there. Now, we have some basic editing capabilities that we can do right in Google Photos on the smartphone. For example, if I wanted to take this photo that I took of Farley kinda having a nap there on the floor, just kind of all chilled out, I can do basic simple editing. Adjusting filters, the color, the brightness, that sorts of cropping the photo by tapping on the little sliders here that brings me into a simple editing mode that allows me to do some basic correction and basic cropping and brightness and contrast adjustment of the photo right here that is available to me immediately. Now, I am going to discard that. Additionally, one of the things that we wanna do the most with our photos is not necessarily edit them, although that's pretty darn useful, but we wanna often share that photo with others. So that ability, the ability to be able to share the photos as far as on iOS is concerned, it's a little upload icon over here that allows us to open the photo, choose which photos by putting the blue check mark on them, and choosing what tool we want to use to share those photos. So if I wanted to publish them to Instagram, I could do it directly here. If I wanted to share with any individuals, here's all of my individuals I can share with or I can say put it straight into a text message here, I can share the photo through any of these different sharing mechanisms that are available to me. So it's a very social aspect. Google Photos actually grew out of Google's social network, the Google+ social network. It's kind of the most valuable piece of that network. So sharing and social sharing of your photos is a big part of the entire Google experience. Now, that's on the smartphone. If we wanna do the same basic things on our desktop, we have a few extra features. If I go in and grab that same photo here, let's rotate the photo here so that it's a, let's just go in here to manage the photo and let's rotate it. There we go. Oops! There we go, that way there. Ah, there we go! We've got it nicely rotated. And we can again go in and we can do the same kinda basic adjustments of color, lighting, et cetera. What's pop? Oh, pop makes it really pop. Oh, isn't that cute? Okay. It allows you to do all of those same basic editing things to the photo but once again, we have the sharing menu. Now, it looks slightly different here. It's got this kinda three points is the sharing menu here but again, we can go and we can share this photo to the people by email, by link, we can share it in Facebook, Twitter, other social platforms, we can do all of the sharing of photos from the menu here. So that is for sharing our photos which works pretty much the exact same for albums is all done through either the desktop or the mobile interface. Now, before I leave this menu, I should talk to you about some of the other features that we see here. One of the most important is the information one which basically tells us where it was taken, it gives us all of the information about the date, the camera settings, the location, all of that information is available in the information which is the metadata which is within the photo. And I'm gonna point out something here right away. I haven't done anything with this photo. I just took it the other day. And look at this. It already identifies this as Farley. How the heck does it know it's Farley, are you asking? I'll get into showing you that in a few moments. That's one of the most amazing aspects of Google Photo is its face recognition technology. Well, in this case, it's not even recognizing Farley's face. It's more recognizing his hiney, but it is recognizing it as Farley quite accurately. Next, let's talk about those digital products that I was gonna talk about. And for that, we can go back into our main menu here and we can go to Photo Books and this allows us to choose collections of photos that we have and to turn them into books, coffee table books that we can share very quickly and very easily. Now, this is something that you wanna spend some time pulling your best photos together, laying it out, putting together a wonderful memory book but it's one of the really nice aspects of Google Photos. And the fact that we're uploading photos in fairly high resolution means that these Photo Books are gonna look spectacular when we create them. It's never easier to do than it is now. So that's one of the nice additional features that are built into Google Photos. This leads us to one of the most amazing aspects of Google Photos and it comes down to how it recognized Farley. Google Photos recognizes people's faces and will attach those faces to the contacts that you have in your Google Contacts and how it all works is through some amazing machine learning as they look at images and parse out the information from all of those photos. So there's a variety of different ways that you can put people in to this, bring people in, but let me show you. I found this photo. Here's a Christmas lunch that we had with a couple of buddies of mine, the old school computer friends of mine and when I open this photo, do you see that this one guy here, it says I see him in another picture. Google recognizes that Steve is in a different picture so if I now click on this picture here, it says add a name. Who is this? Who is this fine-looking young man who is in several of your photos, Steve? So I'm gonna add his name. I'm gonna do it privately so you can't see. I'm gonna blur it out but... There he is. And so now, anywhere that Steve is, it recognizes him and now I can search on his name for other photos. See? It's recognized him from this lunch in December of 2018 and way back at our wedding with his lovely wife Barb. And look, here he is. Where was he in this photo? Look at how unbelievably good this is. It found him here in this photo here. This is one of the most creepy and one of the most amazing aspects of Google Photos. So remember how I said Farley was in there? Let me start typing in Farley's name. So this is now instead of organizing by album or organizing by date or organizing about location, now your photos can be organized by people, by individuals, because if you assign somebody's face to an image, Google does the rest of the work for you so now if I wanted to see a picture of Farley, I just type in Farley and I click and here's all my photos with said Farley! Oh, good heavens! He was doing that weird one with the hat, there's some nice photos of Farley, there's Farley in the background behind Emma and I. Look at all the photos of Farley that we have available to us here. Isn't that great? And it's not just for dogs, no, no, no! It also does our family cat. So here's all our photos of the cat, Mimi. Mimi gets short-shifted here at Dotto Tech. I always have the dog but seldom do I have the cat, but there she is. She's a beautiful cat, isn't she? She is just a lovely cat. So there's my pictures of Mimi. But this gets better. People, pets, locations, watch this. Let's type in Christmas and up comes all the photos that look like they're Christmas-related. Family, presents, all of the different photos Christmas-related including the sad eaten wreath, it recognizes. Do you wanna do more? Let's look at fishing photos. Fishing! It's photos of us fishing, different photos of me on the water with fish and in different fishing-type environments. That's the magic of the Google's Photos automatic recognition. We take so many pictures now with our smartphones. We take dozens, hundreds of pictures. Some of us take pictures every single day and organizing those photos that we take so many pictures now that the sheer volume of pictures that we take can mean that we lose photos or photos completely get lost, organizing our photos would be an absolute nightmare. This intelligent ability to be able to search and discover based on content of the photos using a computer search, using Google Search which is what Google is best at, search! Using Google Search to search for the images that we need, that we want means that we're gonna find the images that are important to us when we need to find them. The final thing that I wanna show you is, again, something which is just amazing and that is Google Lens. Now, Google Lens is Google's artificial intelligence that's built in that analyzes photos. Let me see if I can find a good example for you here. So you go and you take a picture. I got something. You take a picture of something and it could be a tree, it could be a location, and if Google can search and can figure out what that image is, Google will bring back the same kind of information as it would have presented to you had you searched for that. So this works great if you're looking at a flower and say, what type of flower is that? You take a picture, it'll come back with probably the type of flower it is. But here, I was on a flight and my buddies wrote a book, YouTube Secrets. I'm sorry I don't have any picture of a flower, but watch this. The Google Lens icon, if you have it available in your area, it's that little kind of magnifying glass type icon second from the right. When I tap on that, watch what happens. You see the little dots appear and Google analyzes the image and it comes back with what it finds in the image. In this particular case, it is! It's a book by Benji Travis and Sean Cannell, YouTube Secrets: The Ultimate Guide to Growing. It recognized and parsed out the information of what was in that photo! Google Lens will again blow your mind based on Google Search bringing you back information. Now, that caveat I mentioned off the top of the video, if you have Google Lens, Google Lens is one of those tools that is not available in every geography so if you don't have it, my apologies. I hope you get it soon. It is truly an incredible, incredible technology, and that's us just scratching the surface of Google Photos. We have other videos on Google Photos but I think the best thing for you to do with Google Photos is to dive in and to start using it and to make it your go-to photo app. It's replaced all other photo apps for me as far as my online storage and in photo management. It's just that good and it has that much potential for growth in the future. I have no idea where Google's gonna take it but where they brought it so far, I think you'll agree, it's pretty darn impressive. That's it, that's our fifth of our series on Google Apps. If you haven't checked out any of the other videos in this series, they'll all be linked in a playlist at the end of this video. Would love your comments and your questions, your concerns. I read each and every comment that you post here on YouTube so I'm looking forward to hearing back from you on that. Now, this is, as I say, the fifth in our series of videos. If you don't wanna miss the rest of these videos, make sure that you have subscribed to our channel and hit that notification bell so that you hear when we upload our new videos. I look forward to the opportunity to share those with you in the not-too-distant future. Till next time, I'm Steve Dotto. Have fun storming a castle!
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 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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