Google Photos: How it helps free up phone memory

We’ve previously written about how to free up storage space on your iPhone, one part of which focused briefly on the Google Photos App. Here we take a look at how this app works, how to get the most out of it, and if it’s safe.

What is Google Photos?

Google Photos was created in 2015 to give users free, unlimited storage for photos and screenshots up to 16 megapixels and videos up to 1080p resolution. The app is a cloud based service, meaning you can upload the photos from your phone to a Google cloud server,allowing you to delete the photos from your phone Photos App – increasing capacity on the physical device. 

In short, the app lets you store, share, view, and edit photos and videos, without taking up physical memory. It works for both Android and iOS devices, and provides an automatic backup for your media. Once the photos and videos are backed up, Google Photos will give you the option to delete them from your Photos App. Don’t fret though, if you want to share your photos on What’sApp or Instagram, it’s really easy to do so. Simply click on the image and either select ‘Save to device’ to upload it from your Photos App as you may be used to, or click ‘Share to…’ and you’ll see a list of platforms you can share the image to. 

How to use Google Photos 

Google photos also features some helpful tools that can help you manage your media. The AI-powered assistant for example can sort the photos based on the faces in them. Of course, enabling this feature depends upon whether you want a facial recognition algorithm reading your photos. 

You can now also easily share photos and albums using the share feature, simply by making an album in the ‘Library’ section at the bottom of the screen. Once you’ve created your album, you’ll see the ‘share’ button above the photos and you can click to share the album with your email contacts.

In addition, you can now opt to automatically backup and sync your photos and videos as you take them – useful if you think you might want to retrieve your files from the trash, as this keeps them for 60 days after hitting delete. 

For anyone who photographs paper documents, Google Photos also lets you highlight desired sections of text, and even crop out backgrounds to make it easier to do things like upload and expense a receipt from a work trip.

Finally, the app also comes with a handy ‘search’ tool at the bottom of the screen on your phone where you can type in a keyword like ‘beach’ to help you find a specific photo. What’s more, Google photos now makes it possible to back up all your Facebook snaps, should you decide to ever leave the social media network. If you’d like, you can also download everything, meaning your cloud-based backup can itself be easily backed up onto your computer, or external, hard drive.

Using the tool safely

As with any online tool that handles your data, when using Google Photos it is always advisable to review the privacy permissions you allow carefully. 

If you click on your initial in the top right hand corner of the App and go to ‘Photo Settings’, you can view a variety of privacy options that Google Photos could be allowed to access. For instance, you might want to swipe the toggle to hide your photo location data so that other people won’t see where photos were taken, or check to see if Google itself is viewing your location history under the heading ‘Google Location History’. Lastly, it is also worth checking to see if under the ‘Backup & sync’ option you want your phone to be able to use mobile data to back up photos. If you have a limited data phone plan, it is worth toggling this off. 

Do you have any other topics you’d like us to cover or have any questions? Leave a comment in the section below.

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