Sunday, October 30, 2016

Top 7 Reasons to Love Google Photos

#7: It makes fun creations from your photos and videos. 

Sometimes it does it automatically without you even asking. Sometimes you want to make some yourself. This fireworks example is an animation. The movies even add music!


#6: It's so easy to share a picture, or lots of pictures. 

All you do is select the picture(s) tap the share button, and select the person(s) from your contacts. If you choose their email address, they will receive the photo in an email. If you choose their phone number, they will receive the text, if they use Google Photos, you can skip email or phone and send it directly to their Google Photos account. It will show up in their Google Photo's Assistant.

#5: You can edit your photos on the phone/tablet, or on the computer. 

Just one tap on "Auto" can make a world of difference. Want your picture to have more pizazz? Try the Pop button! You can straighten a crooked horizon by tapping the Crop/Rotate tool and drag a slider to change the angle of the photo. Any edits you make will synchronize to all your devices.

#4: You can make albums to show off your best photos. 

Just select the photos you want to include, tap the 3-dot menu and Add to Album. Once an album is made, you can edit it to re-organize the photos, add maps, and even add text blocks to fully tell your story.

#3: Auto Backup and Free Up Space

Cellphone photos will automatically backup to "the cloud" - your Google Account online. Once you verify they made the trip, you can remove them from the phone with one command - Free Up Space.

#2: Find the Photos you Want with Sort, Search and Automatic Albums

Google PHotos keeps your entire library of photos (over 50,000 for me) in order by date. A simple pinch on the screen and you see years and months grouped together. Looking for a particular picture? Try search. I can come up with that one photo of kayaking in La Jolla by searching for "Kayaking in La Jolla" !! There are also automatic groupings by Faces, Places, and Things. 

#1: Google Photos is a Forever Home for your Lifetime of Photos

The number one, best reason to use Google Photos is that it can collect your photos from many sources and store them in one place - your Google Account online - with unlimited storage, for free, forever! By uploading from my mobile devices, uploading from my computer and all external hard drives, I have a master collection of over 50,000 pictures. I can see all of them from any device I happen to have available. 
Just a sampling of my 56,000+ photos as seen with Google Photos on my phone.
Mrs. Geek's Guide to Learning Google Photosa


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Chris Guld (aka Mrs. Geek) is President and Teacher-in-Chief t GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983 and owned a Computer Training Center called Computer Savvy from 1983-1996. She was one of the first WordPerfect Certified trainers in 1986; President of the International Computer Training Association in 1993; Author of the Beginner’s Guide to Picasa and the PicasaGeeks.com website. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum and owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog. She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Want to be an Expert in Google Photos?

by Chris Guld
When Google Photos first came out, I knew I wanted to become expert in it. I specialize in helping people manage their digital photos. I have been using, and teaching, Picasa (Google’s free photo management software)  for over 10 years – and I loved it. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of other people were using Picasa and loving it because I taught them. But, the writing was on the wall that change was inevitable. Picasa was built for the world of digital cameras and computers – it only used the web occasionally, just for sharing your best photos. The world of photos is migrating to smartphones and web, no computer necessary.

Google doesn’t just see the future, they invent it! So when they announced Google Photos as a brand new product, re-engineered from scratch, to handle all our digital photo needs – I wanted in! I immediately started using it in May 2015. Then I jumped in on the user help forums. I wanted to become expert in this product and you can too. I started reading everything I could find, and then answering people’s questions in the forum. The more I answered, the more I learned!  If you answer a lot of questions, and do a good job, you get invited to join the Top Contributors program. You can also answer questions with the #GHelp hashtag in Twitter. See goo.gl/helponsocial



This is a volunteer program. People become Top Contributors because they have a passion for the product, and a passion for helping people learn. Google then gives us perks. The primary perk is recognition of our expert status. The next is open lines of communication to Google and our other product experts. I am on a team that includes people from the Philippines, Germany, Ghana, UK, and of course Mountain View, California – Google Headquarters.

Top Contributors Meetup

Every year Google recognizes it’s Top Contributors for all products and gives us the biggest perk – a trip to Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA for a meetup. Here are a few photos from the meetup I just attended.


The meetup started with happy hour in the hotel. The main event began the next day and I was thrilled to meet the community manager for the Google Photos Top Contributors, Ben. He's kind of our "handler," acting as liaison between us and the product development team. He communicates with us at least weekly, and sets up a monthly video call with all of us.

Google Photos wasn't the only product represented - there were Top Contributors for Google Hangouts, Google Voice, Google Blogger, Gmail, Calendar, Android, Nexus, Search, Maps, Youtube, and many more! We heard presentations from several "Googlers" - that's what you're called if you work for Google! And, I got to get definitive answers on some Blogger questions and Google Voice questions I had - yes, I am a geek!

They also facilitated several icebreaker activities, and of course meals. I think my favorite part was sitting with Googlers on the product development team for Google Photos - I had some questions of them, but they had even more questions for me! It was also wonderful to get to meet many of my team face-to-face. I not only have team members now, but also some new friends!



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Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983 and owned a Computer Training Center called Computer Savvy from 1983-1996. She was one of the first WordPerfect Certified trainers in 1986; President of the International Computer Training Association in 1993; Author of the Beginner’s Guide to Picasa and the PicasaGeeks.com website. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum and owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog. She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Three ways to Delete Photos with Google Photos

Losing precious photos is what we want to avoid! Google Photo’s primary purpose is to keep your photos backed up and safe, but if you don’t understand where they’re getting backed up and how delete works, you could still end up losing them! I have three important points for you:
  1. Be sure to verify that your photos are, in fact, backed up. Please check your account, on a computer, at photos.google.com to verify that your phone’s photos have successfully made it to your account online. Even if you trust the "all backed up" message, I still advise that you view your photos online to verify that you know the username and password for the account that is being used!
  2. Don’t use the trashcan icon unless you never want to see that photo again.
  3. If your goal is to make room on your phone by deleting pictures, use Google Photos "Free Up Space" command. Settings, Free Up Space.

Delete from All Sync’ed Devices with Trashcan icon

When you use the trashcan icon in Google Photos, you are saying this picture is garbage. You don’t want it anywhere. This will delete the selected picture(s) from the current location – the phone/tablet in your hand or the web (photos.google.com) if you’re using a computer. The trashcan will also delete the selected picture(s) from any sync’ed devices. A sync’ed device is a smartphone or tablet that has the Google Photos app with Backup and Sync turned on. A computer is not a sync’ed device – if you have these same pictures stored on a computer’s hard drive, they will not be affected.

Delete from Device Only by using the menu

If you want to remove some pictures from your phone, but leave them untouched on the photos.google.com website don’t use the trashcan! Instead:
  1. Select photos to remove
  2. Tap 3-dot menu
  3. Android: Delete Device Copy
  4. iPhone: Delete Device Original
If you don’t see an option to delete from device only, you may have selected photos that weren’t taken with that device and therefore do not exist to be deleted! That is also the explanation for the image at right where 15 pictures are selected, but only 6 device originals are among them.
On Apple devices, there is one more step. Whenever you delete a photo on an iPhone or iPad, it’s not actually deleted, it’s just moved to the Recently Deleted Album. So, those photos are still taking up space on your device. If you want to completely erase them, you need to go to the Apple Photos app, Albums, Recently Deleted, and erase them from there.

Delete all Backed Up Photos from the Device with One Command: Free Up Space

Google Photos keeps track of the photos that have successfully been backed up (uploaded to your Google Account.) Therefore, it can delete all the photos from your device with one command.
  1. Tap the 3-line menu
  2. Free Up Space
  3. It will report how many photos and videos are found and then you tap Remove

Androids with SD cards

If you are using an Android device with an SD card, odds are that Google Photos does not have permission to write to that SD card. (February 2017 update: the Android update to Nougat has fixed this for most people) That means, if you try to delete a photo using Google Photos, it can’t. You have to use the native gallery app to do that. Although this renders your SD card rather useless, I don’t see it as a huge problem. I set my camera to use the internal phone memory even though I have an SD card available. This memory will fill up fast, so I use Google Photos “Free Up Space” command often. Very few of my photos are actually stored on my phone, but Google Photos shows me all the photos in my account – all 50,000 of them – as if they were on the phone.

If you are a GeeksOnTour.com member, here are several tutorial videos on this subject:

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Chris Guld is President and Teacher-in-Chief at GeeksOnTour.com. She has been in computer training and support since 1983 and owned a Computer Training Center called Computer Savvy from 1983-1996. She was one of the first WordPerfect Certified trainers in 1986; President of the International Computer Training Association in 1993; Author of the Beginner’s Guide to Picasa and the PicasaGeeks.com website. She is now a Top Contributor for the Google Photos Forum and owner of the LearnGooglePhotos.com blog. She loves to teach! If you want to learn, you’ve come to the right place.