Allstate Journal

New Google Photos app offers unlimited uploads

Google is doubling down on photo sharing, with a new app for Apple and Android, and the Web. With Google Photos, available for free today on Google Play and the Apple app store, the search giant is taking on Facebook, the No. 1 photo-sharing site, with an app that aims to collect every image you shoot into one place.google-building-441

“Sharing photos is really hard,” says David Lieb, the Google product lead overseeing the Photos project. “Here we are, it’s 2015, we have self-driving cars and flying drones, yet I can’t really send you 25 photos that we’ve taken together. We want to change that.” The app has been adapted from the photos app in the Google + social network, with its most popular feature, auto-upload. Give Google the thumbs up, and it will grab every image you take on your smartphone, and it will be visible on smartphones, tablets and the computer.

Now, with the additional download of the “Auto Uploader” for the computer, Google is picking up every shot you import to the computer as well. The app “will be a home for a lifetime of photos, auto organized, and searchable,” says Lieb. The good news: Google offers unlimited storage for photos and video. The fine print: Google compresses the images, although Lieb says they’re still high quality. A 1080p video will still be 1080p high def, he says.

If the photographer wants to keep the images at full resolution, they can buy storage from Google. The first 15 gigabytes are free, and then it’s $10 a month for 1 terabyte. Facebook attracts nearly 2 billion photo uploads per day to the social network and its Instagram, What’s App and Messenger units, and photos there have resolution greatly lowered.

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