Google Photos: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

It can be said that as organizers, we are constantly looking for the perfect solution for photo organization. When it comes to digital photo storage, it really is the Wild West out there. Increasingly inclined to go digital for ourselves and clients, we’re always looking for that ace in the hole, with the perfect offerings for backup, organization and accessibility. Just a few weeks ago, Google came to play by launching it’s brand new photo service, Google Photos. While Google stands apart with it’s unique and cool new service, it’s still leaving many of us scratching our heads, and asking, “Do we love it, or hate it?”
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The Breakdown of the Pros & Cons of Google Photos // Google Photos: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly // simplyspaced.com
After playing around with it for about a week, here’s my breakdown of the Pros & Cons:
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PROS:
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FREE STORAGE
What? Unlimited free storage? Too good to be true? Think again. I have thousands and thousands of photos from over the years and whilst testing out their service, uploaded my entire library without being charged. Whatever complaints we have, this is not one.
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EASY BACKUP
One of the hardest things for me to do with clients is move data. Data is often stored on multiple platforms and requires sifting though various hard drives, folders and cloud services to locate, organize and consolidate it. What really impressed me about Google Photos was the ease with which it could scan my computer, cloud drives, etc. and upload all my photos. The process to upload my 70,000 photos took just a few days and only that long because I shut down my computer a few times.
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SYNCING ACROSS DEVICES
With the new Google Photos app for phone and tablets, photo syncing across devices is a breeze.
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AUTO UPLOAD
Even more convenient than cross device syncing is the auto backup feature, which takes the work out of moving future photo files. It’s all done for me!
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GIF/MOVIE GENERATION
Who doesn’t love a fun animated photo made from a series of photos? Or better yet, a movie set to music? While it could be said that the inability to do this from your desktop is  a con, the ability to do it at all is awesome. From phone or tablet, you can now create cool animated gifs with just the click of a mouse! The “Assistant” feature auto generates gifs and movies, but that’s a bit of a mixed bag.
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The Breakdown of the Pros & Cons of Google Photos // Google Photos: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly // simplyspaced.com
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AUTO PHOTO ORGANIZATION
You still can organize your photos, create albums etc. but with the awesome search-ability, face recognition and photo grouping Google offers, you can easily search your backlog without too much trouble. This feature is a huge plus for our photo happy generation, cause lets be honest, who has time to organize 70,000 photos? Here, I just typed in “Italy” and all my photos from the trip are pulled up without having ever created an album.
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The Breakdown of the Pros & Cons of Google Photos // Google Photos: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly // simplyspaced.com
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PHOTO STORIES
Though many of the “assistant” features of Google are questionable at best, the feature that really works for me is “Stories.” Google puts together a story based on a day or event in your photo stream. For example, “A weekend in Venice,” was a sweet surprise. Without having to do any one the work, Google has created a wonderful memory stream of my honeymoon.
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CONS:
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WEIRD AUTO GIF GENERATION
Auto generated gifs has got to be the biggest issue I’ve read about since researching Google Photos. From animations of ex girlfriends, to animations of dead relatives, the sometimes cool, sometimes frightening feature is definitely something they’ll have to work on improving.
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COLLAGE FAIL
One of the added features of the new Google Photos is auto collage creation. While seemingly cool, the problem with this feature is inability to think like a human. In today’s day and age, we take so many photos of the same moment just to get the pic to look good, and Google Photos doesn’t take this into account. Unfortunately, as nice of a sentiment as it is, almost all of my collages are 3 to 4 of the same pics, with no ability to differentiate between what’s been edited and what has not.The Breakdown of the Pros & Cons of Google Photos // Google Photos: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly // simplyspaced.com
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LIMITED PHOTO EDITING
While the ability to edit at is a plus, I am struck by the very simple photo editing offerings by Google. Terrible photo filters and inability to adjust brightness and contrast. Even the .99 cent photos apps offer this. Let’s hope Google is working on this one sooner than later! Oh, and Google if you’re listening (we know you’re listening), that drop shadow that covers 1/4 of your photo when editing, please, please get rid of it!
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The Breakdown of the Pros & Cons of Google Photos // Google Photos: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly // simplyspaced.com
SUMMARY
Clearly the list of Pros is way longer than the list of Cons.  My hope is that over time, the service will improve and that Google will respond to the issues people are having. Like anything, it needs to breath and grow, and I have faith in Google to make it happen. At the end of the day, you get some bang for your buck here, and since it’s free, well you can’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
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So do I recommend the service? I gotta say, it’s a resounding yes.
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