Google Photos: The Ultimate Guide

Google Photos: The Ultimate Guide

When it comes to backup your photos, there are a lot of great services in the market both free as well as paid. A new/novice android user gets confused easily among this and most of the times, can’t come to a decision. However, nowadays almost all of the Android phones getting released, Google Photos application is preinstalled with other apps to help users with all of their needs with photos as well as videos.

This article is here to help you to get the most of Google Photos in case you are not aware of how you can use this service by Google.

You can access Google Photos on almost all OS. There is an Android app, Backup app for Windows platform as well as can be accessed by a Web Browser. Regardless of the platform, there is no decrease in the functionality of the service which is great.  What you need is a Gmail account and that’s all. Almost all Android users have a Gmail account (In case you don’t, you will have to create an account first).

Google Photos
Google Photos
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

You can access Google Photos on the web as well. Here is the Official Site of Google Photos.

You can download the application to backup your content as well from Here.

One Time Setup

On its first launch, you are presented with an option to turn on auto sync. You can select your account in which your photos and videos are backed up. This is a One Time Setup and won’t appear later.

You can select the quality of the backup as well. This is an important point you should take into account. Google Photos allows you to store your photos with two qualities i.e. High Quality and Original Quality.

Difference between them is that High-Quality uploads are those photos which are optimized and quality is adjusted by Google and backups in this quality are Unlimited while uploads in Original Quality counts against your Quota in Google Drive. You can customize these options later in the settings as well.

By default, Camera photos are automatically backed up regardless of your selection here.

In case you own a Pixel, you simply don’t have to worry about this as you have the Unlimited Storage option.

Note: All Gmail accounts receive a 15 GB cloud storage in Google Drive for free.

Launch Screen

The default launch screen is pretty simple. In case you have uploaded your photos before, you will be able to see them on the default screen. You can search your photos using the search bar on the top.

The top left slider menu lets you access settings in which you can customize the behavior of the app, as well as options, choose to share your account, access bin, archived photos and all. The top right 3 dot menu lets you customize the layout of the photos section as well as create an Album, Movie, Collage or Animation.

You can access your device as well as your uploaded albums using the Albums tab on the bottom. Albums Tab lets you access photos by Place, Person, Things, Videos, Collages, Animations, and Movies. You can share your albums, change default cover, rename it, create a new album or delete an existing one.

The Assistant tab shows you tips and tricks related with Google Photos as well as automated created/edited photos, videos.

The Sharing tab lets you control the sharing of your photos, videos, albums. You can easily share your media or see who has joined your albums and various other information related with sharing.

The small cloud icon at Right-hand corner below 3 dot menu indicates the current status of your Backup. You can expand it by clicking on it.

You can change your view in Photos by Pinching in and out to show more or fewer photos at once.

Options

In the top right corner of a photo, you can access a 3 dot menu which lets you access the options to check info of the media, view a slideshow, add to a particular album, Use as Contact/Wallpaper photo, print, edit, delete or archive it.

 

In the bottom of the photo, there are 4 options present. The 1st one lets you share your photo/video, 2nd one lets you edit it, the 3rd one is the Google Lens integration which lets you know more about the photo and the 4th one is to move the file to the Bin.

You can install Google Lens from Play Store separately if your device supports it. You can read our guide to Enable Google Lens Integration in Photos it in case your device doesn’t support it.

Google Lens
Google Lens
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

Settings

The top slide menu lets you access more options which comprise of Choosing Folders to be backed up, Archived photos (which are photos you archived and are no longer showed with albums or in default launch screen), Bin (Contains deleted photos, is automatically cleared after 60 days), Option to Add Partner Account (Share your photo accounts with your loved ones or just anyone you want to share with).

Free up space option simply deletes your photos which are already backed up. PhotoScan lets you scan your photos (Old photos which are not digitalized i.e. hard copies), however, requires separate app which can be installed from Play Store.

PhotoScan by Google Photos
PhotoScan by Google Photos
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

Settings option as the name indicates lets you customize the behavior of the app as well as the service. You can check your storage, change qualities, network preference, sharing and all.  Send Feedback option lets you submit feedback while Help presents you with articles which helps you to get your job done.

You can change your account by clicking your email address shown at the top header. This lets you easily check and control other’s accounts if you have access to them.

Summing-up

You can access all the same features and control option of Android on the web version as well. Web version allows you to upload photos/videos as well which is great in case you are using an Operating System/Platform not officially supported.

In the end, Google Photos’s Service is simple as well as powerful. There are a lot of great guides, news, tutuorials all over the web to help you as well. At XDA, we cover Google Photos a lot. Check out our Articles tagged with Google Photos to know what’s going on with it right now. Also feel free to ask for help in our forums or social groups. XDA has a great community which will surelyhelp you.