Google Photo: Every photo you have ever taken stored for free
The internet giant launched its innovative Google Photos app in Android and Apple app stores and online this morning, just hours after unveiling the ambitious plan at its annual developers’ conference in San Francisco.
With Google Photos, the company will offer every person who downloads the app unlimited photo storage in a plan to bring “Google-scale technology to the problem” of photo management.
Google Photos product lead David Lieb said the company chose to tackle photo storage as it was a growing problem for many users, all of whom where capturing more photos than ever from an array of gadgets.
“We’ve all got photos scattered across multiple devices,” Mr Lieb said. “We probably have a tablet, we probably have an external camera, and I’m sure probably all of us have one laptop that we keep in the closet just because there are some old photos that we don’t want to lose.
“Our photos are completely unorganised. We take so many photos now, there’s no way to actually categorise them and if you’re trying to find a particular photo, good luck.”
Google, he said, would tackle the problem with computer code and server space.
Mr Lieb said if a photograph did not have geo-location information, Google would analyse landmarks in the background, matching it with more than 150,000 places on file, to determine its location.
The app also used facial recognition to identify the user’s loved ones, and analysed scenes to identify elements that could later be used in photo searches.
After uploading photos, users could type a dog breed like “golden retriever” into the app’s search bar to find matching photographs, for example, or “baseball” to find images from baseball matches.
Google Photos lead product manager Anil Sabharwal said the system was not foolproof, but would improve with time.
“The benefit of this is that it is for your eyes only,” he said. “We are going to make mistakes but it will be easy to say these seven photos are not of my cute baby but another cute baby.”
But there is one catch to Google’s big photo plan.
When users download the app, they must choose between unlimited storage with “high quality” image files, and just 15GB storage with “original” image files.
Mr Sabharwal said the compressed files were almost indistinguishable in appearance from the originals, compared side by side, but consumed less storage space.
“When we upload photos we’re uploading them at up to 16 megapixels in size so if you upload a file bigger than that we’re able to use a variety of compression techniques to (reduce the file size) while maintaining visual accuracy,” he said.
Users who wanted full-size photos stored on Google Photos, Mr Sabharwal said, could pay $10 per month for a terabyte of storage, and would unlock the app’s ability to delete stored photos from their smartphone to free up space.
Google’s new photo plan would also replace the automatic photo upload currently offered in its social network, Google+, with product management vice-president Bradley Horowitz confirming the network “will be changing”.
Users will be able to transfer their Google+ collections directly across to the new app, however.
news.com.au 29 May 2015
This is mass surveillance at its best!
And the best part about it, is that it's packed up like its for the benefit of the 'consumer' / corporate slave, as you 'voluntarily' provide this information to the corporate criminals, and to a war mongering government.