To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Google Photos provides unlimited photo and video storage

Google Photos browsing

Launching today on Android, iOS and web, Google finally sorts out its photo services

For us the biggest announcement from Google’s IO 2015 Keynote was Google Photos. The new service is launching today and will provide free unlimited cloud storage for both your photos and videos. The only caveat is that photos have a maximum 16-megapixel size, while video is limited to 1080p footage.

This is a huge move by Google, whose strategy when it comes to photos has been fragmented for years. Its original Picasa service had offline and online versions, which then got subsumed into Google+, while full-resolution images were stored over in Google Drive. It was, frankly, a mess.

Read all the latest news from Google IO 2015

The new service is rolling out today on Android, iOS and via web browsers today. Your phone, tablet or even PC webcam will automatically backup photos to the cloud, and you will be able to upload photos from a memory card, so all your photos will be able to live in one place. You’ll still be able to sync your photos over to Google Drive, presumably if you want storage for original photos over 16 megapixels, no word on RAW support yet.

With all those photos in one place, Google looks to have put a lot of thought into how you’ll browse them, or find a particular shot. There’s impressive-looking pinch to zoom on smartphones for starters, letting you quickly move from a single photos, to thumbnails representing days, weeks, months or even years. And the demo used online photos, rather than locally stored content, yet was still remarkably responsive.

Google Photos browsing

Photos are tagged automatically, organising your photos by person, place or object. There are also powerful search tools, so you can search for say ‘snowstorm in toronto’ and a commbination of locations and image recognition will find the pictures you want in an instant. There’s also editing tools, and it will generate collages or edit together video clips automatically.

Sharing is simple too, you can select a single photo, or tap-and-drag to select multiple images. You can then send a single link to anyone, whether they have Google Photos or not, and they will be able to click on that link and go to a webpage displaying those photos. If they do have Google Photos, then a simple tap and they can then save those photos to their own library of images. It will also allow sharing to Facebook and Twitter.

It all looks brilliant to us, we’ve been looking for a good one-stop shop for photo storage, and this could well be it. Again it’ll be available later today, so download it and give it a go. We’ll be bringing you a more indepth review and tutorials in the near future.