The holidays are a time for taking lots of photos. Make sure you know how to keep them all safe!

Whether you’re out with your friends or spending time with your family unwrapping presents, there’s a good chance you’ll be taking a lot of photos this holiday season. But there’s also the chance that someone has a bit too much eggnog, breaks their phone, and — poof — there go your fun new memories. That’s why this year might finally be the time to get your family on board with Google Photos.

Backing up your photos has never been easier. Once you set up Google Photos, it works in the background to automatically upload your shots to the cloud as you take them. The best part is that it’s not just limited to Android users. Google Photos is also available on iOS, and its unlimited storage option gives it a big advantage over iCloud.

Setting up Google Photos

Setting up Google Photos is as easy as opening the app and tapping Done during the initial prompt. By default, the app will upload your images at a slightly reduced quality, offering free unlimited storage, but if you prefer to keep your memories in full resolution, just jump into the Back Up and Sync settings and adjust the Upload Size. Keep in mind that full-res uploads count against your Google Drive storage.

From the Back Up and Sync settings, you can also decide whether you want your photos to upload over the cellular network or through Wi-Fi only. The former ensures that your photos are safely backed up almost immediately after you take them, but of course, it comes at the cost of running up your carrier data plan. If you’re blessed with unlimited data, flip on cellular backups and shoot away!

Google Photos: Everything you need to know!

Finding your photos later

One of the best parts of Google Photos is its ability to automatically sort your photos by people, places, and even objects in the shot. This is a great way to quickly find that awesome picture you took of your niece opening her favorite present so you can show the rest of the family.

At the top of the Albums tab is a horizontally scrolling list of features Google’s AI service was able to detect in your photos. Tap People & Pets to find thumbnails of all of your friends and photo subjects, linking to every photo and video you’ve taken of them. From within an individual person’s collection, you can add a name, change the featured photo used in the thumbnail, or remove erroneous results.

Similarly, Places utilizes geotagging to sort your photos by cities, counties, or even specific points of interest like universities or malls. The Things category uses the same machine learning as People & Pets to detect objects and scenarios like dogs and cats, skyscrapers, selfies, concerts, etc. Just like with People & Pets, you can remove results, but you might be surprised by the accuracy of the software.

Turning your photos into gifts

On top of cataloging your memories, Google Photos also lets you immortalize them by creating personalized Photo Books. You can choose up to 100 images from your Google Photos library, organize them any way you wish, and customize the cover and spine. The Photo Books are made using high-quality prints, and make for excellent holiday gifts.

Photo Books

Start the holiday season right

Google Photos makes it so easy to back up your pictures that anyone can do it, regardless of their level of experience with a smartphone. This holiday season, take the time to help your family members set up Google Photos and protect them from losing important shots — lasting memories are the gifts that keep on giving.

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