2013-02-24 22.46.40
February 26, 2013

Save Photos In Google+ Or Google Drive?

For those who have gone all-in with storing their images in Google services, the options for where to put one’s photos can be rather confusing.

There is the desktop software Picasa, which looks like it is likely to give up the ghost one day. Its pseudo-replacement is Google+ Photos, which has a nice feature set of editing services, album creation and of course sharing with one’s Google+ network.

Of course, there is also Google Drive, which is designed to be an all-in-one repository and office suite for all of your files. Drive also uses Google’s image search capability to make many of your photos discoverable through search.

Since using cloud services is supposed to make photo management easier, this duplication of services can create a problem. Here is how I manage my photo flow, which may help those interested in doing the same.

The first step is to use Instant Upload, which can be done from an Android or iPhone. This automatically sends every picture you take to Google+ Photos, providing a nice backup solution. While Dropbox and other services offer this as well, the advantage for Android users is it puts it in your Gallery app. So if you have a Nexus 7 or other Android tablet, you can access any of the images, just as you would with Apple’s Photo Stream (without having to mess with iPhoto).

Google+ Photos also has a good set of editing capabilities, which were integrated from Google’s acquisition of Picnik. It makes for quick edits and can clean up many inconsistencies.

However, for a more permanent solution, Google Drive is another place to move images. Essentially what I do is drag an entire folder I want backed up into my Google Drive after doing all of the editing or deleting the undesirable images. However, if I edit later, these changes will stay synced. Not to mention there are good image editors like Pixlr Express that work right from within Drive.

The downside here is you don’t get instant thumbnail previews on your mobile device, so looking through a gallery of photos is a frustrating experience. This needs to change in order for Google Drive to be the full-featured file solution Google wants it to be. Currently Dropbox and SkyDrive do a better job of displaying photos from their mobile apps.

Given Google’s push into being one’s sole operating system, this is an area that we should expect to improve soon.

Image Credit: Derek Walter

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