Cloud storage is more important today than ever before, especially for those of us that regularly backup our photos and videos. With this in mind, Google has announced a brand new service, Google Photos, at its Google I/O 2015 event in California. The new service will automatically and instantly (if there’s an active internet connection) back up all photos and videos that you take on your smartphone to Google Photos.
You’re standing at the top of a mountain. There is snow all around and the sun is just starting to set on the horizon. Everything is still and all of a sudden a stag, with his full set of antlers silhouetted by the setting sun, stumbles onto the scene. You pull out my iPhone, swipe to the left to open up my camera app and snap the magical scene. “Not Enough Storage”. The deer snorts, and walks back into the pines.
Okay, that never happened. But my God is it annoying when you can’t take a picture because your pitiful iPhone storage is full, and there is no chance I am paying Apple’s iCloud prices to sync my photo library there (£6.99 a month for 1TB).
There are certain ways to resolve the problem, flirting with iCloud but finding the same old “not enough storage” issue beyond the tiny 5GB free storage tier. We backed my photos up to a physical hard drive, but this was no good when we wanted to show off my ‘Banff 2016’ album to a stranger.
Then someone told us about the Google Photos app, which was released in the summer of 2015, and we thought it was too good to be true. Unlimited photo backup, on our phones, and with quick view capabilities for the entire library right there on our phones and across any device where we’re logged into my Google account.
Okay, it did take us three days of on and off uploading to get my entire library backed up to Google Photos, but once they are all there it is set for life. We were able to stop backing up to iCloud straight away, opening up some storage there, and then clear a solid GB of storage from our iPhone hard drive instantly.
The real kicker with Google Photos is the typically elegant and simple user experience. Similar to Gmail or Google Docs, the design is kept clean, simple and intuitive, with photos organised in chronological order and a single search bar located at the top.