For travelers, I can see this being a fantastic tool. Imagine traveling the world, snapping all kinds of photos, and through Google’s use of geolocation and recognition of people, landmarks, weather, etc., being able to show off an awesome photo timeline complete with videos and animated GIFs before you even get home. Maybe you’re in a cafe in Spain and someone steals your bag with your phone in it. It will be a pain to replace the expensive electronics but at least your photos were automatically backed up in the hotel room overnight. Sure, other services do this. I’ve tried them all. None do it quite like Google Photos.
What does all this cost? Nothing. It’s free. If you’re a professional photographer, or at least someone who takes a lot of high quality photos and videos and uses a real DSLR camera or shoots 4K video, then it will cost you Google’s normal rates for cloud storage. You might also want to look into a tool that is geared towards pros if you aren’t using one already. If you’re like most of us who only take smartphone photos and never rise above 16 megapixel images or 1080P videos, you can upload as many photos and videos as you like at absolutely no charge.
If you’re security and privacy conscious (as you should be), you might be asking yourself a few questions about this new free service.
With that said, if you’re security and privacy conscious (as you should be), you might be asking yourself a few questions about this new free service. Marketwatch has a great rundown of the tradeoffs you may have to make for storing your photos for free with Google. After reading that and perusing the terms of service around Google Photos, you can decide for yourself whether or not this great new service is worth the potential privacy concerns. I think it is. As with any cloud services, be careful about what you upload. Don’t put anything out there that you wouldn’t be comfortable sharing in public if you absolutely had to. You should also use strong, unique passwords and other security tactics such as two-factor authentication. If you follow this advice I think you will get a lot out of Google Photos.