Learn Google Photos Book – videos and links

The book is alive!

Updated for 2021

Google Photos is changing ALL the time. We try to keep up. Check out the first section below for a chronological listing of what has changed.

This page is a supplement for the book. Under each chapter heading, you will find links to videos, help articles, and other resources for learning Google Photos. We try to keep these resources up to date. If you see anything that is outdated, please use the Contact Us form to let us know.

Updates to Google Photos – What has changed?
Product Experts Photos Resources

A website that is owned and maintained by volunteer Google Product Experts. You will find lots of tips, tricks and info about Google Photos here.

Links to Videos and other Resources

Chapter 1: Your Google Account

Updates to Chapter 1

6/3/21 Chapter 1: A change in terminology. The upload size that was called “High Quality” is now known as “Storage Saver” See full details here.

Chapter 2: Getting Started with Mobile
Chapter 3: Collecting the rest of your life’s photos and videos

Past “Button” shows on this topic:

Updates to Chapter 3

10/4/21 Chapter 3: The Android version of Google Photos now has the ability to edit dates. For example, if you scanned a photo today, but you want the date of the photo to be sometime in the past, you can now swipe up on the photo and click the pencil icon next to the date. This has been available for iOS and for Web, now it’s on Android as well.

10/1/21 Chapter 3: Backup and Sync is replaced by Google Drive for Desktop. Here’s a video on how to upload photos from your computer to Google Photos using Google Drive for Desktop. See also Episode 220 of our Youtube show.

7/12/21 Chapter 3: Google Backup and Sync is out; Google Drive for Desktop is in. The switch will be phasing in until Backup and Sync no longer works as of Oct. 1. See The Verge article. The only changes in the software affect Google Drive. The procedure for uploading photos from computer to Google Photos remains basically the same. You must check the box to upload new photos to Google Photos from specified folders. It is a one-way process, no syncing involved.

Review Chapter 1-3 (answers)

Question 1= 2 ; 2= 2 ; 3= True ; 4= go to photos.google.com and sign in with your Google account ; 5= 2 ; 6= True ; 7= False ; 8= View your Google photos from a device other than the phone that took the photos ; 9= b ; 10= False ; 11= d ; 12= a ; 13= c

Chapter 4: Getting Around in Google Photos

Updates to Chapter 4

6/15/21 Chapter 4: Change to 4 tabs at bottom of app. On iOS first, then coming to Android – the Sharing button that was at the top left is moved to the bottom row of tabs and in its place is a Print Shop button.

4/15/21: Chapter 4: I just noticed some new options when viewing video on the Web version. There is a settings button (gear icon) in the lower right that includes Playback Speed and Quality setting. 

Chapter 5: How to find the memories you’re looking for

Author’s videos for Chapter 5 (YouTube playlist)

Google Help Center article: Search by People, Things and Places

Updates to Chapter 5

11/1/21 Chapter 5: The web version of Google Photos is now displaying Memories on the top row of the screen. Control what you see here by clicking on Settings

 then Memories.

9/13/21 Chapter 5: Collages available for certain memory collections. Some of the “Spotlight on …” memories end with a collage that you can save. See Android Police article.

9/1/21 Chapter 5: On the mobile app, when you’re viewing the photo library you will see a “Best of month” highlights reel at the beginning of each month. Tap on it to view a slide show of selected photos/videos from that month. It works just like the memories section at the top. This feature is just now rolling out. If you have it, you can go back to previous years and see the monthly highlights. When you use the scroll button, you will feel a little bump when you get to a month. You may also get other highlight reels within a month if you have lots of photos that can be grouped, e.g. “Trip to the Keys.”

8/25/21 Chapter 5 & Chapter 9: Shared photos are now stripped of location data. If your photo includes a location, that location will no longer be visible to people with whom you share the photos. . If it’s in an album, there is a setting to change this – click the 3-dot menu and choose Options, turn on the Share Photo Location.

8/10/21 Chapter 5: More detail for photos showing in the memory carousel. See Android Police article.

7/15/21 Chapter 5: A photo memories widget for Android. A photo memories widget has been available for iOS for a while now. See article. If you are on Android, this feature has now come to your phone. I had a hard time finding it at first because it is not labeled as a Google Photos widget – it’s called “Memories.”

5/19/21 Chapter 5: More control over what shows up in memories. Announced at Google I/O 5/18 – rolling out later this summer. See announcement on the Google Keyword Blog. The same announcement tells of a new “locked folder” which is a password protected place you can put photos that you don’t want to be accidentally viewed using Google Photos or any other app on your device.

5/2/21 Chapter 9: When sharing photos using iMessage, you now have direct access to Google Photos.

Chapter 6: Keep your memories safe

Updates to Chapter 6

11/2/21 Chapter 6: The Android version of Google Photos will now offer to “Delete from Device”, even for photos that have not yet been backed up. You will see this when you open a photo and swipe up, or when you select several photos and tap the 3-dot menu. In the past, and still part of the iOS version, you could not delete a photo from device unless it had been successfully uploaded to the cloud. Now, when you tap “Delete from Device” it will display a confirmation message:

Chapter 7: Editing to improve your photos

Updates to Chapter 7

11/12/21 Chapter 7: The iOS version of Google Photos will now have access to premium editing tools. See article at 9to5google. You must be a member of Google One to have the premium tools. If you are, you’ll see a multicolor 1 badge on the special features. With these new tools you can do the following:

  • Portrait light: Change the position and brightness of light for photos of people.  
  • Blur : Blur the background on certain photos of people not captured in portrait mode.
  • Color focus : Desaturate the background, while you keep the foreground color for photos of people. 
  • Smart suggestions : Easy to use one-tap edits that adapt to each photo’s content. 
  • HDR : Enhance brightness and contrast across the image.
  • Sky Select from several palettes and adjust the color and contrast in the sky.

6/22/21 Chapter 7: The new editing system that has been on Android for a while comes to iOS, but with a limited feature set. It’s missing Markup, More, and premium editing tools like Dynamic and Portrait.

5/20/21: Chapter 7: Accessing Snapseed from Android app is now done by tapping the Edit button, scroll to More… and choose Snapseed there.

4/23/21: Chapter 7: Denoise and Sharpen on Android only – these are two new editing tools on the Adjustments tab. Denoise is meant to smooth a photo, giving it a slight blur. Sharpen give more definition. These new tools do not require a Google One membership. Article from AndroidPolice.

October 2020 – Google is rolling out a new photo editor on the Android platform. Here is my article and 3 videos all about the changes.

Chapter 8: Organizing with Albums and Favorites

Updates to Chapter 8

9/1/21 Chapter 8: If you open a photo from an album, edit it, then save a copy – the copy will now be included in the album. Before this change, the copy would be in the main library, not in the album, and would be difficult to find.

5/25/21 Chapter 8: Locked Folder announced. Pixel 3+ devices only Coming first to Pixel phones then other Androids. This is a space protected by your device screen lock where you can save your photos and videos separately, so they won’t show up as you scroll through Google Photos or any other apps on your device. Be aware, photos in your locked folder will only be stored on device. Lose the device, lose the photos. You also will lose the photos if you clear data. Full help article here.  Warning – “locked” files will exist on your device only, no cloud copy at all. If you clear cache and data – you will be deleting those on-device images.

Chapter 9: Sharing

Updates to Chapter 9

8/25/21 Chapter 5 & Chapter 9: Shared photos are now stripped of location data. If your photo includes a location, that location will no longer be visible to people with whom you share the photos. . If it’s in an album, there is a setting to change this – click the 3-dot menu and choose Options, turn on the Share Photo Location.

6/23/21 Chapter 9: Have you ever received a photo attached to an email and wanted to save it directly to Google Photos? Well, any day now, you will be able to do that with Gmail. See article by Verge. Open the photo, click the 3-dot menu and choose Save to Photos.

Review Chapters 4-9 (answers)

Question 1= c ; 2= b ; 3= Shift-click ; 4= b ; 5= False ; 6= a ; 7= True ; 8= d ; 9= 2d icon ; 10= c ; 11= True

Chapter 10: Surrounding Yourself with your memories

Updates to Chapter 10

12/12/21 Chapter 10 People and Pets widget for Android home screens. When you add a widget to an Android phone home screen, you’ll see a category for Google Photos. Within that are now: People and Pets and Your memories. For People and Pets, you select up to 10 faces you want. Your memories are automatic. See article here.

9/8/21 Chapter 10: Printing now includes new sizes for canvas prints, and other options. Also, when ordering prints, you have the option to have them shipped to your rather than picking up in the store. See article in Google’s Blog: All the ways to print your photos.

Chapter 11: Troubleshooting
Chapter 12: Apple Photos and iCloud vs Google Photos
Chapter 13: My favorite features