I have been using Google Plus’ new photo features this week, and I have to say, I am completely amazed. They have taken the hassle out of posting photos and even added a little magic and fun with their new Auto Awesome features. So what did Google do to make posting photos an enjoyable experience? Check out my breakdown below.Auto Upload
Google Plus starts making the process easy right out of the gate by providing auto uploading for your photos. Snap some photos with your smartphone and they are whisked away to the cloud and stored in your Google Plus photo section. This means you don’t have to take up space on your phone or computer to store your pictures. Plus, if your phone gets stolen or your computer dies, your photos are safe and sound. Google Plus gives you unlimited photo storage for standard pictures (2048 pixels) or 15 gb of free cloud storage for full size photos.
So my phone has auto uploaded a zillion birthday party photos, but now I’m dreading sorting through 700 pictures to a handful of great shots to share. Luckily Google has my back. They have added a new section in Photos called “Highlights.” Google uses some very cool technical wizardry to scan through photos and pick out the best shots. Google automatically hides shots that are blurry, overexposed, duplicates, etc, and leaves you with the cream of the crop. The rest of your photos are just a click away if you still want to look through them yourself. I’ve tested out this feature several times now and am very impressed at how well this software works. My photos are easy to find, simple to sort and it now takes me half the time to post. I love it!
Now that your photos are automatically uploaded to Google Plus, Google works their magic to make them look the best. Google now corrects photo color, over exposure, applies noise reduction, takes out red eye, and even softens wrinkles. Google does all of this automatically to make your photos look their best.
For those who are skeptical or prefer the original version, have no fear. If you go into your Photo section and click on a photo, you can see what the photo looked like before the enhancements. Just roll over the top left hand corner of the photo and you will see a button that says “Enhanced.” Clicking on the button and holding it down will change the photo to its original state. Release the mouse button and you can see the enhanced photo again. If you prefer the original photo, the revert button is right there. So far, I’ve preferred Google’s enhancements every time.
Google has added some new enhanced photo features that are just what their name suggests, automatic and awesome. Without you doing anything, Google checks your photos and sticks them together in some fun ways to create creative bonus photos. There are 4 different types.
1) Stop motion gifs – When I first heard about these, I thought they were cheesy and a waste of time. Since using them, it’s truly awesome. I think it’s because I don’t have to do a darn thing to make them. If you take multiple shots of something, Google stitches them together into a moving image. It’s like something right out of Harry Potter.
2) Panorama – Take a few shots of a panoramic view and Google will put them together for you in one long image.
3) Collage – Take a few different photos of the same subject and Google will put them together for you in a collage
4) Portraits – Did you take 15 family reunion photos because you can’t get all the kids to look forward and smile at the same time. Google will cobble together a photo with everybody looking forward and smiling.
Full Photo Editor
If the auto enhance doesn’t do it for you, Google Plus has a full blown photo editor built into Google Plus. Google purchased Picnik in 2010 and has built it into Google Plus. It has basic functions like crop, rotate, and resize. It has a plethora of different effects like sun aged, black and white and heat map. It has fun decorations like fangs, crazy eyeballs, beards, and thought bubbles. It also gives you the ability to add text boxes.
Mobile Photo Editor
Google has included a very basic mobile photo editor through the mobile app. Before you share your photos, you can rotate them, crop them, and apply one of 31 filters or 38 different frames. Not much to it, but the crop and rotate have been really handy.
When you add a photo to the “Share What’s New” box, Google gives you the opportunity to add some block text to create an instant meme. Just another way Google is making photos a little more fun.
All of these features have teamed up to make Google Plus the fastest and easiest way to share great looking photos. I have found that I am sharing more pics than ever because Google handles the hard work. They even leave me fun little surprise in my photo section! It a great package that should make Google Plus a must for people who love to take lots of pictures but hates having to mess with them afterwards.
What do you think of there photo features? Do you find them helpful and effective? Would these features get you to use Google Plus more often? Let me know in the comments below!