Google’s own photo app
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 17 Dec 2015, tested on HTC One M8
Auto sync, material design, good ui
Some poor performance here and there, lack of organization
On most phones, Google Photos for Android is one of the Google apps that comes pre-installed on your Android device. Not all devices have Google apps installed, but most do. That said, there is about a 50 percent chance that you actually use that app over the manufacturer’s gallery app instead, and that all really comes down to which icon you like the most.
I originally used Google Photos because I’m usually a pretty big fan of Google apps. One of the biggest features this app has is its ability to automatically back up your images to your Google Drive account. You can upload an unlimited amount of high quality (compressed) images, or up to 12 GB of full resolution photos. After that, you’ve gotta pay.
I have two kids and I take a lot of screenshots since I have to post my own for Android app reviews. As a result, I spend a lot more time in my gallery than most, and the single feature that sort of turned me off from using this photo app was performance. Sometimes it takes a pretty lengthy amount of time for the thumbnail images to pop up and there was always a lag when I was trying to select multiple images.
My biggest complaint is organization, though. Samsung’s gallery app automatically saves images into folders depending on where they came from. If I download an image from Reddit then it goes into a Reddit folder. If I just snap a screenshot then it goes in my screenshot folder. If I take regular picture then it ends up in my images. I don’t have to go searching through a huge bucket of photos to find one I’m interested in sharing with friends or to grab so I can edit it in Photoshop. This is a basic feature that this app still lacks.
For most people Google Photos is a fine app. For People who pay for extra storage on Google Drive, this is an incredibly convenient app since it automatically backs up all of your photos. But I personally have better performance out of using my native gallery app and Dropbox. Depending on your situation, your mileage may vary.