Google Photos has become one of the most used and useful Android services. It seems that it has been with us all our life but in reality it began to work in May 2015 so it is barely three years old. His reasons for winning us over? Free cloud storage and a powerful search engine to find photos and images very quickly.
In this short time the tool has evolved and transformed to be not only a cloud to store content but also a very complete photo gallery. Using it well and discovering its full potential takes time because although at first it may be complex and not very intuitive, once we know it thoroughly it is the best tool to view and organize images. Here we give you 19 tricks so you can get the most out of it.
Organizing Google Photos
If we are ordered with our images, Google Photos will give us many facilities. If we do not have control with the dates and we are uploading content without further ado, at first it can be a bit frustrating. Organizing photos in this application is simple once we understand how it works, so before we dive into the different options it offers, we are going to order everything to lay the foundations.
Understanding the Google Photos timeline
Google Photos shows us the images in the order in which they were taken. That is, the most recent at the top and the oldest at the bottom creating a timeline that helps us locate photos in an instant if we remember when they were saved. If we have a lot of content, it is very fun to scroll and see everything that we have stored over the years.
Swiping your finger is useful to find images but if we want to find something from years ago, it is best to touch on the right margin and drag the finger to move faster. To guide us, when we move our finger like this, the month and the year will appear to indicate us where we are going and not move without any sense.
The wizard: everything we can do
Google Photos is a very complex tool with a lot to offer. If we do not know where to start, the ‘Assistant’ button that you will find in the lower menu will help us explore some advanced features. Do we want to make a collage? We can do it from there. Remember photos from years ago? It will show us. Delete old images? There we have the assistant to give us a cable.
If you are new to this service, my advice is that you start here so that, in addition to these tricks, you learn all the potential that this tool has. It is a lot of fun to experiment with the Collage, Montages and Videos modes so that we can see everything that goes without having advanced knowledge in editing.
What folders am I going to upload to the cloud?
By default Google Photos uploads the images from the camera. That is, every time we take a photo, it is stored in the cloud. What happens to the rest of the content we have on our mobile? Instagram photos, images that we download from social networks, memes that are sent to us by WhatsApp … By default none of that is stored but within the settings menu, in ‘Backup and synchronization’ we can mark which folders we want have a copy.
We can also change the folders from the main screen in ‘Albums’ and select the ones you want. Automatically every time a folder with new images is created (the first time we download an image from Google Chrome for example), Google Photos will send us a notice to tell us if we want to save that folder or not.
Search photos by terms or concepts
The Google Photos search engine is one of its main weapons. We can search by terms and concepts to find images. Do you have pictures on the beach? Then search for ‘beach’ and everything you have saved will appear. As a curiosity to say that it also works with emojis so if you use 😎, it will show you content with glasses or sunglasses.
Search photos by people
If we have a lot of selfies or portraits of people, Google will identify the faces and classify them automatically. In general the algorithm works very well and it will archive everything very accurately. If we see that in some cases it fails, we can help you and tell Photos who those people are so that they do their job better. This feature may not be active on your account if you are in Europe.
Delete photos automatically
If we take many screenshots or save photos of tickets, Google will notify us from time to time to tell us if we want to delete them and gain a little space in the memory of the mobile. The application recognizes content that is expendable and that we have only used it for a short period of time. Of course, before deleting it asks us so that there are no dislikes.
Pinch the screen to change the view
The default view of Google Photos shows us four images across the width of the screen. Do we want to see more thumbnails so we can scroll faster? Do we prefer to see them bigger? We just have to pinch the screen and make the zoom gesture to put it to our liking.
Edit images in Google Photos
Now that we have understood how Google Photos works and the organization of the content, it is time to go further and talk about editing. The Android app allows us to do Quick touch-ups such as trimming or rectifying it if it has been crooked. We can also apply filters of various types and if we need more we have the option to edit in an advanced way with Snapseed, although for this we will have to download the app previously.
Filters: this is how Google improves (more or less) your photos
The Google Photos algorithm is a very important element of the application as we have seen. Among its many functions is to edit photos and show us montages automatically. What Google does is detect when there is an interesting image (for example the photo we just took of a monument), processes it in the cloud and sends us a notification notifying us of its creation. We can save it or discard it, whatever it is we will not lose the original.
Edit images in Google Photos
Google Photos is not the most advanced tool in the world to edit images but it meets the minimums for day to day. We just have to open an image, hit the button with the three horizontal lines which is at the bottom and start editing. It allows us to apply effects, level images and crop. If we need something more sophisticated, we have many very good photo editors on Android.
The upload quality, how does it work?
Google Photos offers free and unlimited storage for our photos on one condition: images and videos are compressed. All photos over 16 megapixels are reduced to this amountIn the case of videos with quality higher than 1080p, it is also downgraded to Full HD. Is it sufficient quality? If we only want to save photos and view them on mobile, yes.
If you have a Pixel mobile you have the option of storing photos in original quality as long as they are uploaded from that device. That is, it is not worth having one linked to our account, the upload must be made from the smartphone in question. If you need more space to avoid losing quality, you can expand the capacity by contracting a subscription to Google Drive.
How to make GIFs with your photos
If we have several images with which we think we can make a good gif (for example when we shoot with burst mode) we just have to go to the application, find the images, select them as a group and click the (+) button. Inside we will see the option “Animation”, click on it and in a few seconds it will show us the result that will be automatically saved in the cloud.
How to make collages
Doing the typical multi-panel montage is a piece of cake for Google Photos. We just have to select the images, give the option (+) again and this time select Collage. At the moment the image already created will appear. We cannot edit the frames or select the frame but generally the results are quite good for fast images.
Squeezing Google Photos
We have already seen how images are organized and also how in-app editing works. With the basics already learned, it’s time to go deeper and see what else we can do with Google Photos. From uploading photos from your computer to watching them on TV to scanning old images and having a digital copy instantly.
Scan old photos with Photoscan
Surely many of you have photo albums printed on paper at home. It does not matter if you once made them with a digital or an analog camera, Google Photos allows you to make a copy so that you have it on your mobile and in the cloud in a matter of seconds. If we slide our finger from the left margin to the center we will see that the menu appears an option called ‘Scan Photos’.
From there it will send us to Google Play so that we can install Photoscan, a tool that allows us to digitize photos using the mobile camera. We just have to put it in front of the sensor, make sure there is enough light and follow the instructions because it is not about taking a photo without more but the app is in charge of readjusting everything so that the digital copy is as faithful as possible.
Share photos with other people
Sharing is living and Google Photos offers us several options to show our images to more people: from sending them directly as a file to create a link so they can be viewed from any web browser. We just have to choose the images with our finger and hit the share button.
Another interesting option is to be able to create Shared Albums. That is, someone creates a folder on a topic, a trip with friends in summer for example. And the different people are uploading the photos they want so that everyone can access them at the moment. If you know several people who use Google Photos, it gives a lot of room for shared experiences.
Send the photos by Chromecast to a TV
Are you connected to a WiFi network where a Chromecast is configured? Then you can send a photo to TV very easily. Note that if you meet this requirement, the characteristic icon of this device will appear (a rectangle with three waves coming out of a corner) that will indicate that it is possible to do this action.
You can select only one image, review the entire catalog by swiping your finger or just mark a few photos not to teach more than necessary. It is very easy to use and it is a more agile and enjoyable way to show our friends about the summer holidays.