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Guide: Google Photos vs Google Drive: What’s best for you?
Google is notorious for having multiple apps that do almost the same things. Just a few days ago, Google launched the Google Tasks app for creating to-dos, the feature already present in Google Keep. And let’s not even talk about Google chat apps.
I’m sure you must have heard about the similarity between Google’s two apps – Photos and Drive (when it comes to photo storage) at least once. Both sync photos and videos and that’s the cause of confusion.
So which one should you use? And why? All your questions will be answered in this comparison of Google Photos and Google Drive. Let’s dive in!back to menu ↑
Usage and file types supported
Google Photos is a steroid photo gallery app and Google Drive is a cloud storage and backup service for files like pdf, zip and photos and videos.
If Google Photos is installed on your device, it will immediately display the photos and videos taken with it phone cameraAs with other gallery apps, you can view images present in other device folders. It supports three types of media files: photos, videos and GIFs.
There is no need to back upup photos in Google Photos and sync them to view them on one device. However, when sync is turned on, you can view them on multiple devices.
Google Drive, on the other hand, is a powerful cloud storage service where you have to add files manually. It’s empty unless you add things to it. You can add any type of file such as PDF, ZIP, MP3, MP4, JPG, PNG etc.
The photos taken from your smartphone camera or images present on your mobile device does not automatically show up in Google Drive, as is the case with Google Photos. Likewise, other device files are not automatically added to Drive.back to menu ↑
The Google Photos user interface is very similar to gallery apps. On the first screen, you will be greeted with camera photos. The device folders can be accessed from the navigation drawer or from the Albums tab at the bottom, where other Google Photo albums are also located.
Likewise, Google Drive’s user interface is similar to other file backup services or even file managers. On the first screen, you will see several folders and files under the Quick access row. To view images, you must go to the appropriate folder.
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Although Google Photos shows the photos on the device in their respective folders, you cannot move or copy images directly between these folders. You need a file manager for this in the case of device folders. However, you can move files in the case of synced albums. Furthermore, it does not support hierarchy.
On the other hand, Google Drive offers more organization. It supports hierarchy and lets you organize your files in different folders. You can copy or move files between folders directly from Drive itself.back to menu ↑
Another important area where Google Drive and Photos differ is storage. Google offers unlimited storage space in the case of Google Photos. There is one condition, however.
Google compresses the photos and saves them at 16 MP. In the case of videos, they are compressed to 1080p. This is known as the High Quality mode. For a regular user, 16 MP is more than enough. But if you are a professional photographer, compression can result in loss of quality.
If you want to upload media in the original quality, Google offers 15 GB of free space. This space is shared by Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos. If you choose Original Quality mode, the media is considered less than 15 GB.
Likewise, any photo / video you add to Drive will be counted for the same 15 GB. There are no separate quality modes here. However, you can manually lower the quality if you wish and then upload them to Google Drive. Once 15 GB is over, you can buy additional storage space. You can check your Google storage here.
Note: Adding photos in High Quality mode in Google Photos does not count towards storage usage.back to menu ↑
Lake Featuresback to menu ↑
Editing a picture
Google Photos comes with basic editing features such as crop and rotate. You can also create collages and apply filters.
Google Photos also comes with a video editor. You can turn your photos into movies and animations. Google Drive does not include a photo or video editor.back to menu ↑
If you have Google Drive installed on your phone, you don’t need a third party app to scan documents, receipts or photos, it comes with a built-in ability to do this.
While Google Photos also supports photo scans, you need to download the PhotoScan app from Google for that.back to menu ↑
Interestingly, Google Photos comes with a cool one feature known as Google Lens. It is an image search engine for your phonepowered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. When you tap the lens button in Google Photos, it identifies the object in the image and displays relevant information about it.
For example by tapping on the lens button for a flower in Google Photos identifies the flower and gives us more information about it. Lens isn’t limited to just flowers, of course, it can do many other fun things, including address identification and phone numbers in pictures. Google Drive does not support Lens, but it does support OCR.back to menu ↑
Both services allow you to share and collaborate with others. But there are some differences. While you can collaborate with multiple people in Google Drive, in Google Photos you can continuously share with just one person. You need to add a partner account to start sharing lots of photos with a group of people.back to menu ↑
Which one to use?
Both services use your Google account to sync data and are available on different platforms. While Google Photos is limited to photos and videos, it offers everything you can ask for from a photo viewer and editor. It also offers unlimited storage for compressed media. If you’re okay with that, nothing beats Google Photos.
But if you need more organization andup want for multiple file types, and you don’t care about the gallery view of your photos, then you should switch to Google Drive. However, keep in mind that you would likely end up up storage space because Drive does not have the free compressed storage option of Photos.back to menu ↑
Google Photos vs Google Drive: What’s best for you?: benefits
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