Here's Google Photos, Mountain View's big shot at making your enormous photo collection usable. It's unlimited photo and video storage, plus some smart design and brains to make a huge number of photos manageable. It launches today on Android, iOS and desktop.
Like Flickr, this is supposed to be a a home for all the photos in your library. It uses a slick pinch-and-zoom interface to help you get through all of the images fast — no more scrolling. There's also a really nice gesture that lets you highlight photos on the app by dragging your finger. It's pretty slick.
The service supports photos of up to 16 megapixel resolution and 1080p video. No word on RAW photo support, but for starters we doubt it.
"We want to take the work out of photos," Google's presenter announced on stage. This means not just storing your photos but automatically organising them using image recognition intelligence.
Photos will organise your pics by people and places in your life automatically — so you don't have to tag the places or people. Google emphasises that this organisation is "for your eyes only." Presumably this is supposed to assuage some of your concerns about privacy. We'll have to wait and see how that pans out. Remember: Google's business is data.
There's also some really smart search, which I guess we should expect from Google. When you search for — and this is Google's example — "snowstorm in Toronto," Google Photo automatically finds the snapshots your took then, even if you haven't tagged them as such. If you search for baseball, you get photos from the baseball game you were at.
Google Photos is also centred around sharing. It's easy to push photos to Twitter or to just get a link that will let you send the photo to anyone.
There's a lot here, and we surely haven't had the chance to plough into every last feature here. But what's clear is that Google has taken a step back to create a photo service that's geared towards the way we actually take and work with photos today.