google photos

Google hosted its annual developer conference this morning where it talked about Android M, Android Pay and other initiatives. It also announced a new cloud-based storage service for your photos and videos called Google Photos, and it’s available on iOS today.

At first, Google Photos sounds a lot like iCloud Photo Library and other storage services: automatic back ups, integration with compatible apps, quick editing and sharing tools, and the ability to sort by various metrics. But there a few features that set Photos apart.

Photos has facial recognition, so you can group photos of the same person across time, and tools that enable you to create collages, animations and movies. It also has an assistant that can help you build these things, making suggestions based on location, time, and so on.

The most significant feature of Google Photos, however, is that it includes unlimited storage for free. That’s right, you can store as many photos and videos as you want without paying a dime. This smashes Apple’s 5GB of free iCloud storage and even beats Flickr’s 1TB.

Google says that the new Google Photos service will be available on Android, iOS and the Web later today. We’ll obviously update this post with a link to the iOS application as soon as it goes public, but until then keep an eye on photos.google.com for further information.

Update: You can find Google Photos in the App Store for free.

  • Jordan Stevens

    *waits patiently for apple to make iCloud Storage unlimited for free*

    • That’s next month, let Google have their day lol.

    • Jason Baroni

      They will upgrade the Free Storage up to 10GB and everyone will go crazy like it’s some revolution, as always. But I am with you, I hope they go completely free.

      • Valinor

        I hope they will at least give the same amount of storage your device has for free.

      • Jason Baroni

        What to me seems logical. it’s non sense to have a 128GB iPhone and 5GB for backup and storage.

    • Benedict

      Just another feature you will wait for ages… Same with iOS features which are on the wishlist since years.. I recommend switching to Google Fotos or better – to Android to kill two birds with one stone…

      • Jordan Stevens

        I’d rather piss glass than switch to that crap.

      • meh, both operating systems have their ups and downs. I, for one am happy that they do because it forces them to get more creative and move a little quicker to incorporate the newest features.

  • Anonymous

    Google isnt making easy leave there ecosystem completely. I’ve recently have been looking for a solution to my over loaded iCloud account (for photos) and gladly will use Google’s service that is until apple allows for unlimited photos.

    • Stoker

      You won’t be ‘Anonymous’ very long w/ Google data mining your pix! Have fun getting spied on!

      • Abdullah Safdar

        Its just a name! Lol.

      • Benedict

        The only thing I see everywhere is Apple advertising with photos shot by iPhone 6 users. They spy on the phone’s gallery and take out their favorites!

  • Robin Keanu Keim

    Unlimited storage for free? How do they monetize this? I just can’t help but think of Google selling my photos once I uploaded them… :/

    • It’s just a play to keep you in their ecosystem with their other apps to be able to serve up ads to you.

      • Jerry

        they can serve me with all the adds they want as long as they keep providing services like this. Apple shouldn’t be charging us a CENT! EVERYTHING they sell or do is extremely over priced so they could afford to give us loyal customers this for free. I am what you can call a iphone fan boy but its hard to avoid the truth anymore.

      • I was merely explaining, I wasn’t knocking Google. I love the Google ecosystem and am happy to share my info with them. I have a away to manage all my stuff and am not worried about them seeing what I do.

    • ltcommander_data

      I imagine the data is very valuable. For the user, facial recognition is useful for organizing photos, but it also means that Google can know who you are with in the photos and from the metadata where you were and when so they can graph out your relationships, interests, travel patterns, etc. They can use that to target ads toward you and probably aggregate and sell the data in anonymized form since companies would be very interested to know where say families like to vacation or what 20 year-olds like to eat.

      • And didn’t Microsoft just position themselves to do the same thing with one of their new products as well?

    • Rowan09

      Exactly nothing is free. I would need to see the fine print but Flickr already give 1TB for free but only for photos.

      • They did update the quality of the pictures that can be uploaded for unlimited free. It used to be capped at 2048 pixels. Now, I think I read that it will be capped at 16M and 1080p for video on the free side. Only time will tell. I’ve been using Auto Backup for a while now.

      • Anonymous

        I do believe that you can up load small videos to Flickr.

    • Stoker

      They almost certainly reserve the right to scan the pix/data.

      Not only will they likely employ advanced stuff like facial/image recognition, etc, but they will also easily be able to pickup encoded metadata like your location, time, etc that are readily embedded most smartphone pix.

      From Google’s perspective, as an ad data mining company, your pix are a treasure trove. Good luck with regard to your privacy if you are buying into this ‘free’ service.

  • iV1n5

    Does anybody know if they store the original photo, just like flickr does?

    • Luiz

      they said that it will be stored up to 16mp picture or 1080p video

      so most of the smartphones today will be with original photo
      only DSLR cameras probally will be resized.

      • That will be fine for this year, next year they will have to up their game again. Just gives them a nice track of giving the people what they want.

  • Hot12345

    Also Android M have Google Maps Offline! Only on Android:(,

    • Mr.Coolfreak

      Really? That sucks

      • Hot12345

        Yeah really, image.. if you are home, you update your (app) Maps, If you calculate a route is not using date/internet to calculate the road to A to B. Ofcourse tracic blocks needs data/internet.

        So if you have a route from Mexico to Germany you can change the road meanwhile you navigate. WITHOUT data/internet.

      • Elias Chao

        Like you would be able to choose a route from Mexico to Germany LOL

    • Rowan09

      They had it already but must have expanded on it.

    • Valinor

      For car navigation Inlike the nokia Here app better. Also has offline navigation.
      And when on holiday I use citymaps2go pro which goes free every now and then.

  • locomambo

    same here who cares about resolution. im not going to print a picture 24×12 now 4×6 or 5×7 are the perfect sizes for the resolution for my 8mp iphone 6 plus..i cant wait for the service to become life at US.

  • Elias Chao

    I’ve always thought that would be great if Apple give ~10Gb per iOS/OS X device. I know is not as much as unlimited, but most of us would have at least 20 gigs.

    Honestly I don’t think Apple will give free iCloud storage anytime soon.

    • @sexyhamthing

      You probably paid enough in markup to buy the storage space anyway.

  • James G

    Free because they want to scan your face and append your Google profile and all the data they have on you with your face to sell to advertisers. No thanks. I’ll happily pay Apple $10-20/month for a product that doesn’t sell all my personal data to advertisers.

    • @sexyhamthing

      Oh lord we got a conspiracy

      • James G

        It’s not a conspiracy. Google collects data on their users and sells that data (although ‘anonymized’) to advertisers for running ad campaigns. ~90% of their revenue has been from advertising. Every decision they make is to find ways to keep that revenue stream and increase it.

        This is fact.