REVIEW: Google Photos – Store, Search, and Share (iOS)

REVIEW: Google Photos – Store, Search, and Share (iOS)

Earlier this week, Google updated its Photos app for iOS with support for various features introduced only with last year’s Apple hardware and software releases. So, how close has this update come to making Google Photos the ultimate image storage app on iOS?

Lights, camera, app-ion

Given how effectively and easily the cameras of iOS devices can now be used, it’s hardly surprising that many of us no longer bother packing separate digital cameras. The tight integration of iPhone and iPad cameras with both stock and third party apps also helps to make saving and, especially through social media, sharing our captured images easier than ever before.

However, you don’t have to stick with the stock iOS Photos app – useful though that is for viewing your images on different devices, even Windows PCs. Google Photos is, unsurprisingly given the reputation of its maker, among the best of the third party alternatives.

REVIEW: Google Photos – Store, Search, and Share (iOS)

A truly cross-platform solution

Given the availability of the app on Android, too, Google Photos is an obvious choice if you regularly use both iOS and Android – so, for example, both an iPhone and an Android tablet. Images you take with your iOS device’s stock Camera app can be saved to Google Drive via the Google Photos app. The images can then be easily viewed through the Android version of the app and the Google Photos website.

REVIEW: Google Photos – Store, Search, and Share (iOS)

Some added treats for newer iPhones and iPads

The above are great incentives for using the app on any compatible iOS device. However, users of recent devices running iOS 9 have even more to be excited about, thanks to this week’s update. You can now use Google Photos to both save and view Live Photos – which can currently be captured only with an iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S Plus, but should also be an option with the upcoming iPhone SE.

Also freshly added is support for iPad multitasking features that debuted in iOS 9. Those are Slide Over – available on the iPad Air or later, iPad Mini 2 or later, and iPad Pro – and Split View, available on the iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 4 and iPad Pro. As our screenshot shows, this particular functionality could come in quite useful for doing some research when sightseeing on your travels…

REVIEW: Google Photos – Store, Search, and Share (iOS)

The perfect image storage solution for you?

Whether you should actually use the Google Photos iOS app can depend on a multitude of factors. If you’ve already vested a lot into Google’s ecosystem, it could be an easy choice – especially if your iOS device is relatively new and so can take advantage of the more advanced features. If, on the other hand, there’s a consistent Apple flavor to your gadgets, you might be better off sticking with Apple Photos and saving space that would otherwise be taken up by an extra, but possibly redundant, app.

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Everything Apple, every day. This post was written by an AppleMagazine newsroom writer.