The opening keynote from Google I/O 2015 last week went on for more than 2 hours. As long as it was though, it was so packed full of news from the Google universe that the company didn’t have time to really flush out the details surrounding several of the key announcements. Among those key announcements was the new Google Photos service, which gives users unlimited cloud storage for their photos for free.
As incredible as that sounds, “free” actually isn’t the only great feature to be found in Google Photos.
Because a free, unlimited cloud photo storage solution is unheard of, most people focused all of their attention on the fact that it is indeed free. Ok, so there are some caveats with this free service that we detailed in a post last week, but there’s no question that Google Photos is unprecedented, and it deserves all of the attention it’s getting.
But free and unlimited are just two of several cool features in Google Photos, and because they got all the attention, you probably don’t know about all the other great things baked into the service.
- Photo search: The ability to search your photo library is obviously nothing new, but you’ve never searched your photo library quite like this. Instead of just searching for dates, titles and locations, Google Photos lets you search for content in your photos. In other words, you can search for “dog” and Google Photos will display all of your pictures that have dogs in them.
- Location tagging: Any photo app can read geotag information in a photo’s EXIF data to determine where the image was taken, but Google Photos takes things a big step forward. In many cases, Google Photos can determine the location a photo was captured by analyzing the image’s contents, even if it doesn’t have a geotag.
- One-click export: Unlimited free cloud storage for your photos certainly is appealing, but you might also want to keep copies of them on a hard drive. No, you won’t have to click check boxes on each of the 45,000 photos you’ve uploaded to the service — simply use Google Takeout to download them all in one click.
- Auto-delete local copies: Google Photos can automatically upload photos to the cloud as you capture them, so why not also automatically free up space on your phone? The Google Photos app for Android can be set to automatically delete local copies of images as they’re uploaded so you won’t have to worry about them.
- There is a paid option: You know that big problem with Google Photos? The one where it compresses your images and videos, therefore reducing their quality in the process? Well don’t fret, because there’s a paid option for people who want to keep their content at full resolution. With the paid plan, you get 15GB for free and then you can pay $2 a month for up to 100GB of storage or $10 per month for 1TB.