Last week, Google held the Google I/O launch conference. On this occasion, the Mountain View company introduced a new photography service called Google Photos. This is not fundamentally a novelty, as the service was previously an integral part of Google+.
It is now a fully fledged free app (under certain conditions) and available on Android, iOS and the web. I tested this app for a few days and took advantage of the weekend to get my opinion on the subject. After several days of testing Google Photos, are we adopting it?
- Also read: All about Google Photos
Ergonomic and intuitive interface, we are connected
In terms of interface, there is nothing to say. Google Photos is very successful and iOS users will see some similarities with the Photos app in iOS 8. However, you can feel the Google touch in this app.
The presentation is clear, everything is extremely fluid and intuitive. Using the Google Photos app is a real pleasure every day. Rather the kind of app that gets boring if not easy to use, I must say that Google Photos managed to seduce me at this point.
- Also read: Is Google Photos’ interface inspired by iOS 8’s Photos app?
The menu to the left of the app is open, but we rarely use it after all. Google has indeed worked on a more intuitive way to switch from one function to another.
So from the “Photos” interface, you can switch to “Assistant” with a simple swipe to the right (we will return to this in more detail). Just swipe left to access albums, stories, animations, videos, all categorized.
Finally, when we tap the search button, we discover that Google automatically organizes photos by places, faces, and even “species” (cats, faces, dogs, etc.). I’ll come back to this last point, which is both compelling and somewhat frightening. Anyway, in terms of interface, Google has done a good job.
Syncing photos: not always on top
So, for those like me who wanted to push the limits of the app, the first step was to transfer my entire photo library from my computer to Google Photos. 3866 photos in total to switch to Google service.
How long does it take to get clear right away, especially if you have photos taken with an SLR-type camera like me. First, not all photos will be supported by the service and will show Google sync errors. Anyway, that’s what happened to me. On the other hand (and it’s kind of scary), Google brought me pictures I didn’t even know existed anymore.
I would like to point out that I do not prefer the restricted formula that preserves the uncompressed format of the photos. I chose the completely free plan that most of you would definitely choose if you want to use Google Photos.
What about synchronization? The fact that it’s pretty fast though, is pretty convenient. On my library of several thousand photos, I waited half a day (just for information) for a full sync with 32.56 Mb/s download speed and 4,436 Mb/s upload speed.
So the first sync went pretty well. But later on, I was surprised to find that photos taken over the weekend were imported and therefore appear on the “Imported photos” page, but nothing on the “Photos” page, which should group all the photos. . It’s a bug that’s pretty irritating to use and doesn’t help you find your way around. As of this writing, I’m still having the same issue.
Overall, syncing is pretty effective. However, if you choose the free plan and use a quality camera, you will miss it and not have your entire library. So for photography enthusiasts, Google Photos is the perfect complement, but photo software is essential if you don’t want to lose anything.
- On the same subject: Check out the Cyanogen Photos app
Assistant: the real plus of Google Photos
The most surprising feature of Google Photos is undoubtedly the “Assistant”. As the name suggests, this function will give you the advantage of a real assistant like professional photographers. Well, not exactly, you shouldn’t overdo it, but it’s really nice.
So what is this assistant for? Actually doing things for you is like a good assistant. As soon as you sync your photos, the app will identify the common points (date, places, people, time, faces, etc.) between your photos.
With this information, Assistant automatically creates montages of your photos, creating collages like Instagram’s Layout, retouched photos (with filters, frames, etc.) and even animated gifs.
One of the most amazing automatic creations is undoubtedly “History”. Google will actually set the different criteria mentioned above and create a real animation album within a certain time. For example, in my case Google searches for my summer vacation, Christmas, my travels, wedding type events, etc. He compiled all the snapshots related to
And it is not in vain that it is called “History”. A true story is being told. The photos are not only compiled, but also in chronological order, to the nearest second, all with animations, maps, etc. decorated with.
As a result, you have a ton of amazing albums without doing anything but renaming them. Please note that all Wizard creations are subject to your approval. Obviously, such a function will not please those who want to protect their private data as much as possible.
I admit that I am fascinated by this functionality, but still find all this a bit scary. We really measure how much Google follows us. The question then arises as to whether you are ready to accept this situation, in which case you will find this app great or if you feel some discomfort, in which case, I highly recommend using the non-functional photo software. any data in the cloud.
Conclusion: Even if we admit it…
As I write these lines, the photos that will be used to express my views on this article are being synced to Google Photos. Yes, Google Photos, I have adopted it. Why ? Just because it’s effective. He always does what is asked of him, everywhere. It is an ideal tool for most mobile users.
The sleek and very intuitive interface also has something to do with it. Everything is at your fingertips. And the “Assistant” function is a real asset. However, Google Photos is not perfect. It suffers from a few bugs, especially the sync related one which is quite annoying. Even if we find all his pictures, you have to go another way to get to them, and it’s pretty tedious at first. You eventually get used to it.
- See also: 10 best photo apps on Android
Another point that can be disturbing is the respect for privacy. In this app we really see how much Google knows everything about us. At first, it’s therefore pretty scary, and then after careful thought, we finally tell ourselves that Google Photos is showing us everything that only Google knows, basically because it’s known that for a long time already. That’s probably sad to say, but somewhere it’s already too late, the best way to protect your data would definitely be to not step foot in Google.
So, despite these flaws, Google Photos remains an extremely powerful and well-made app for all users. I didn’t mention it, but the web version (which will require installing syncing software from your PC or Mac) and iOS version are just as good. And I didn’t mention the sharing functions that are perfectly integrated into the app.
Simply put, Google Photos is now my default photo management app and I don’t think I’ll be leaving it anytime soon. And have you used Google Photos? What are you thinking ? Did you like it or hate it? Feel free to give us your impressions and share your views.