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Google Photos

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Google Photos is a photo and video sharing and storage service developed by Google It was announced in May 2015 and spun out from Google+, the company's social network

In May 2016, one year after launch, Google Photos had over 200 million monthly active users, who had uploaded at least 137 petabytes of photos/videos, with over 2 trillion labels having been applied 24 billion of those being selfies, and 16 billion animations, collages and effects had been created based on user content


  • 1 Features
  • 2 History
  • 3 Reception
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


Google Photos is a photo and video sharing and storage service by Google Its core features were previously embedded within Google+, the company's social network The new Google Photos includes unlimited photo and video storage for photos up to 16 megapixels and videos up to 1080p resolution the maximum resolutions for average smartphone users in 2015 and offers apps for the Android and iOS operating systems, and a website Larger photographs, typically taken by DSLR cameras, can be uploaded manually through the Google Chrome web browser, and use Google Drive storage space Users back up their photos to the cloud service, which become accessible between all of their devices connected to the service

The Photos service analyzes and organizes images into groups and can identify features such as beaches, skylines, or "snowstorms in Toronto" From the application's search window, users are shown potential searches for groups of photos in three major categories: People, Places, and Things The service analyzes photos for similar faces and groups them together in the People category It can also group faces as they age The Places category uses geotagging data but can also determine locations in older pictures by analyzing for major landmarks eg, photos containing the Eiffel Tower The Things category processes photos for their subject matter: birthdays, buildings, cats, concerts, food, graduations, posters, screenshots, etc Users can manually remove categorization errors

Recipients of shared images can view web galleries without needing to download the app Users can swipe their fingers across the screen to adjust the service's photo editing settings, as opposed to using sliders Images can be easily shared with social networks Google+, Facebook, Twitter and other services The application generates web links that both Google Photos users and non-users can access

In October 2016, Google announced multiple significant updates to the Google Photos service; it will now surface old memories with people identified in users' recent photos; it will occasionally highlight the best photos when a user has recently taken a lot of images of a specific subject; it will now make animations from videos as well as photos photo animations have been present since the start, displaying the most memorable moments in videos; and it will now find all sideways photos and help the user easily flip them to normal orientation For all of these features, Google touts machine learning does the work, with no user interaction required

Google released a separate app—PhotoScan—for users to scan printed photos into the service The app, released in November 2016 for iOS and Android, uses a game-like scanning process in which users must center their camera over four dots that overlay the image, so that the software can combine the photographs for a high resolution image with fewer defects

In November 2016, Google added a feature that lets users change the color and saturation of skies Called "Deep blue", the slider adjusts gray skies to become blue, without degrading image quality or inadvertently changing colors of other objects or elements in photos


Google Photos is the standalone successor to the photo features in Google+, the company's social network Google launched the social network to compete with Facebook, but the service never became as popular and Facebook remained the Internet's preferred website for social networking and photo sharing Google+, however, offered photo storage and organizational tools that surpassed Facebook's in power, though Google+ lacked the user base to use it By leaving the social network affiliation, the Photos service changed its association from a sharing platform to a private library platform

On February 12, 2016, Google announced that the Picasa desktop application would be discontinued on March 15, 2016, followed by the closure of the Picasa Web Albums service on May 1, 2016 Google stated that the primary reason for retiring Picasa was that it wanted to focus its efforts "entirely on a single photo service"; the cross-platform, web-based Google Photos

In May 2016, one year after the release of Google Photos, Google announced the service had over 200 million monthly active users Other statistics it revealed was at least 137 petabytes of photos/videos had been uploaded, 2 trillion labels had been applied 24 billion of those being selfies, and 16 billion animations, collages and effects had been created based on user content


At the May 2015 release of Google Photos, reviewers wrote that the service was among the best of its kind Walt Mossberg of Re/code declared the service the best in cloud photo storage, against its competition from Amazon Amazon Drive, Apple iCloud, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive Jacob Kastrenakes of The Verge wrote that the release made Google a major competitor in the photo storage market, and that its pricing structure obsoleted the idea of paying for photo storage Sarah Mitroff and Lynn La of CNET said the service's phone and tablet apps were particularly good They added that Google Photos had a more streamlined design than Yahoo's Flickr and more organizing features than Apple's iCloud photo service

Kastrenakes described the service's May 2015 release as evidence that Google is spinning out the best features of their Google+ social network He considered Photos a standout feature of the social network Mossberg described the release as "liberation day" for the photos features that were "effectively hidden" in the "widely ignored social network" The service's strategy, as described by Josh Lowensohn of The Verge, was to put all data on Google's servers so that it can be accessed universally

Reviewers praised the service's search functions Lowensohn noted the service's speed and intelligence, especially in its ability to sort unorganized photos, as well as its photo loading times, search speeds, and simple photo editing tools Kastrenakes compared the service's new image analysis to technology unveiled by Flickr earlier in the same month Mossberg thought the face grouping feature was "remarkably accurate", but was most impressed by the subject-based grouping He was surprised that a search for "boats" found both Cape Cod fishing boats and Venetian gondolas, but also noted errors such as a professional photograph registering as a screenshot

PC Magazine's John C Dvorak was concerned about the service's privacy He was particularly concerned about Google's motivation for building the service, the company's relationships with existing governments, and potential laws that would require Google to provide a user's entire history of photos upon request Dvorak compared such a scenario to inviting others to "scrounge through your underwear drawer" He criticized the service's sync functions, and preferred folders of images over an unsorted "flat database" Dvorak also highlighted the service's poor choice of photos to animate and lack of longevity guarantees, considering the company's abrupt cancellation of Google Reader He ultimately suggested that users instead use a portable hard drive, which he considered safer and less expensive

In June 2015, Jacky Alcine, a 21-year-old African American programmer, noticed the new Google Photos app had filed a number of photos of him and his black friend in an automatically generated album named "Gorillas" After reporting, Google removed the controversial "gorilla" tag from the app and made an apology

See also

  • Picasa – image organizer by Google


  1. ^ "Google Photos - Android Apps on Google Play" November 14, 2016 Retrieved November 15, 2016 
  2. ^ "Google Photos on the App Store on iTunes" November 9, 2016 Retrieved November 15, 2016 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Kastrenakes, Jacob May 28, 2015 "Google announces unlimited picture and video storage with new Photos app" The Verge Vox Media Retrieved May 28, 2015 
  4. ^ a b Sabharwal, Anil May 26, 2016 "Google Photos: One year, 200 million users, and a whole lot of selfies" Google Retrieved October 5, 2016 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Mossberg, Walt June 2, 2015 "The New Google Photos: Free at Last, and Very Smart" Re/code Revere Digital Retrieved June 8, 2015 
  6. ^ "Upload, organize, & share Google photos" Google Support Google 
  7. ^ a b c d e Lowensohn, Josh May 28, 2015 "Hands-on with Google's new Photos service" The Verge Vox Media Retrieved May 28, 2015 
  8. ^ Novikoff, Tim October 12, 2016 "Turn that frown upside down, with suggested rotations and more" Google Retrieved October 13, 2016 
  9. ^ Cui, Jingyu November 15, 2016 "Now your photos look better than ever – even those dusty old prints" Google Retrieved November 15, 2016 
  10. ^ Newton, Casey November 15, 2016 "Google PhotoScan turns your prints into high-quality digital images" The Verge Retrieved November 15, 2016 
  11. ^ Savov, Vlad November 17, 2016 "Google has added an eraser for bleak skies in Photos" The Verge Retrieved November 27, 2016 
  12. ^ Sabharwal, Anil February 12, 2016 "Moving on from Picasa" Google Retrieved October 23, 2016 
  13. ^ a b Mitroff, Sarah; La, Lynn May 28, 2015 "Google Photos review" CNET CBS Interactive p 2 Retrieved June 8, 2015 
  14. ^ Dvorak, John C June 3, 2015 "Google Photos Is Too Creepy" PC Magazine Ziff Davis Archived from the original on June 8, 2015 Retrieved June 8, 2015 
  15. ^ Howley, Daniel June 30, 2015 "Google Photos Mislabels 2 Black Americans as Gorillas" Yahoo! Tech Retrieved July 1, 2015 
  16. ^ Curtis, Sophie July 1, 2015 "Google Photos assigns 'gorilla' tag to photos of black people" The Telegraph Retrieved July 1, 2015 

External links

  • Official website
  • Official blog

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