May 15, 2013

New Google+ Photos Easier On The Eyes

As I'm sure most people who read The Daily Google know, today was the Google I/0 Developer Conference. Since I spend a great deal of time working on photos, I was most interested to see what they were going to do with that.

Google is stressing four new features of Google+ Photos- storage, highlights, auto enhancing, and photo creation.

Before you could choose to have photos backed up in full resolution, so long as it was under 5 GB, but soon Google+ Photos, and Gmail, Google Drive will share 15 GB- so if you want to use most that for photos you can.

Google+ Photos will now create highlights. Google picks out the photos that they think will be most interesting to your viewers based on things such as faces present, famous landmarks, quality of photo, family members present, ect. This allows people to see the most interesting and best photos that you've taken recently without having to wade through hundreds of other images. (Though you can see the others by clicking on "more.")

Normally I am wary of auto enhancing, so I wasn't too excited about that news. Auto enhancing (in my experience) just makes the photo look funny. Google+ Photo looks at your photo and improves the contrast, softens faces, brightens faces, eliminates red eye, adds more texture to scenery such as clouds, ect. It actually looks pretty good! It's also easy to see the difference between the new photo and the old photo- hover your mouse above the photo and you'll see "enhanced." Click on "enhanced" and hold down and you can see the original. Let go and you'll be back on the enhanced one.
An interesting new feature on Google+ Photos is the photo creation feature. If you have a lot of photos taken in a row, Google will create a GIF for you comprised of these photos! You can create panoramas from the photos you took close together. If you took several photos of people in a group, but everyone smiled at a different time, Google+ Photos can fix that for you and create a new photo where everyone is smiling. For everyone who has wanted an HDR camera, but not the expenses or the huge camera case you can take three photos- one with low exposure, one with medium, and one with high. Google+ Photos will merge the images to create an HDR photo. 

Of course I jumped on my laptop and raced off to test out these features. I love the new layout for the images- the grouping and highlights really makes the viewing easier and more interesting. The scrolling is so much faster and the photos load a lot more quickly before (that was driving me nuts before the update.)
Photos are easier to move around- just click on one and a list of selected photos and options pops up on top of the screen.

Easy to select and move photos.

Over-all the Google+ Photos updates are very promising. Go on and check them out for yourself!