Google today announced its new and long awaited Photos service, a standalone service that’s separate from Google+. It’s “a single, private place to keep a lifetime of memories, and access them from any device,” Google says.
In short, Google wants to be the place that stores your digital memories safely for the rest of your life and the place from which you share your memories with others.
The new Photos service lets you store unlimited, high-quality photos and videos for free. The free storage covers photos of up to 16MP in original resolution and videos of up to 1080p HD. Google will store higher-resolution files as well, but they’ll count toward your Google account’s 15GB of free storage.
In addition to its storage features, the new Google Photos service is built to help you organize your memories. Everything you upload is automatically organized for you with groups and labels. If you want to find a particular shot from your life, powerful search functions are geared to help you do so.
There are also powerful photo editing features built into the software — Google’s Photos app does quick auto-enhancements and helps you combine the photos in new ways with a new Assistant view, making it easy to create things like collages, animations, movies, and more.
For photo sharing, Google photos lets you beam your photos to other services such as Twitter and WhatsApp. You can also create direct links to sets of photos or albums to share hundreds of photos at once with others. Viewers can then save high-quality shots to their own libraries if they wish (and if you’ve given permissions) with a single tap.
Google Photos is completely free and launches later today on the Web, on iOS, and on Android.