Google Photos - Is it the right photo backup solution for your mobile device?
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Google Photos - Is it the right photo backup solution for your mobile device?

  1. #1
    HAN's Avatar
    HAN is offline Virtual PC Specialist!!!
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,316

    Google Photos - Is it the right photo backup solution for your mobile device?

    First off, I am a big fan of Google Products. Yes, they make money from us users of their apps/programs/products, but my feeling is that they give a good valued product/user experience in return. But, if a product has some "issues", I'm not blind to it either. Which brings me to Google Photos.

    While I've been a serious Android booster in the past, I'm now in the Apple camp. I use the iCloud for photo backups and syncs between devices. But iCloud isn't free if you go over 5 GB in data. So I began to look around for a cheap, reliable alternative.

    It didn't take long to see the most mentioned cheap/free service is Google Photos. It has apps for iOS and Android, dedicated computer apps and a browser based interface. It promises to backup and sync your photos for all devices you use it with, along with having all your photos available for viewing on all those same devices. But I discovered there are a couple of key things missing that we all assume are there.

    1st, Google Photos copies photos to the cloud. It does not "backup". Backup implies the ability to restore what has been backed up. When used on an Android or iOS device, Google Photos can only restore/download a local copy... one at a time! So if you had 500 photos on your phone and the phone dies, the only way you get your photos back on the phone for offline viewing is one at a time. Not a true "restore" by any means.

    2nd, beyond backup, Google Photos says it "syncs" your photos. And it does check to see if it has a copy of all local photos from your connected device. So technically, that may be what they call syncing. But for me, syncing is having the same data between the cloud and ALL devices using the service. This it does not do. If you have photos A and B on device 1 and photos C and D on device 2, the Google Photos cloud has all four (A,B,C and D) but the offline photos for both devices are unchanged.

    This post is already way too long but I wanted to illustrate the (IMO) severe short comings of Google Photos. It doesn't really backup your photos. It doesn't really sync your photos either. It's really just an online photo viewer. If that's what you're after, it's excellent at that. But if you want your photos truly backed up and synced across devices, Google Photos is the wrong app. (Android users especially beware. If you have been using Google Photos for your phone/tablet backup solution, and your phone dies, you have countless hours ahead of you to restore your photos back to your device. One at a time!)
    Last edited by HAN; August 17th, 2016 at 07:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    14,950
    I prefer to backup important data to hardware and/or storage media that I own and control. Online connections and services can disappear or become inaccessible overnight, as well as be hacked and the data stolen, corrupted, or deleted.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
    Posts
    53,231
    iCloud is a one by one download mess also.
    SMILE
    and post back. Let us know if it worked.
    [ Book mark this post to find it again]

    AntiX-16, MX-16 and Win 10

  4. #4
    HAN's Avatar
    HAN is offline Virtual PC Specialist!!!
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,316
    iCloud is a one by one download mess also.
    Not sure what you've ran into but for I've not had that experience. For me, iCloud Photo Library on an Apple device is a true backup and restore app. (Of course it doesn't work for anything but Apple.)

    Let say I add a new portable Apple device (iPad in my case.) As soon as I sign in to my Apple ID and switch on the iCloud Photo Library, all my existing iCloud photos will flow down to the iPad (at their original resolution (my choice)). I don't even have to take any further action. This means that a new iPhone/iPad can have the same photos as an earlier lost, stolen or destroyed device. The only limiting factor is the speed of the internet used to restore the photos.

    On a PC (via a web browser), iCloud, OneDrive, Google Photos and Dropbox all allow multiple uploads and downloads. The problem is that only iCloud allows multiple downloads (similar to a restore process) to a portable device when used with the respective mobile app. If you have very many photos, it's just not practical to use the other apps.

    I'd be very interested in learning if there are any other alternatives for Apple or Android. I haven't found any so far...

    (FWIW, I also backup my photos to external physical media. But for day to day use, I've found the iCloud method to be very handy.)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
    Posts
    53,231
    Daughter's MAC laptop goofed up, and we got the pictures downloaded using my Windows Desktop.

    She now knows what dad has been telling her for years. Right now she has 4 backups on USB harddrives.
    SMILE
    and post back. Let us know if it worked.
    [ Book mark this post to find it again]

    AntiX-16, MX-16 and Win 10

  6. #6
    HAN's Avatar
    HAN is offline Virtual PC Specialist!!!
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,316
    Sorry to hear that! I've had a hiccup or two with Photos but nothing like that. I'm still Windows at this point but plan to go Mac with my next machine. Hopefully I won't have any issues like that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Sheboygan, WI
    Posts
    53,231
    Mac store did a clean install, when she finally got to it. But, all the photos were gotten before that happened. And she got rid of iCloud.
    SMILE
    and post back. Let us know if it worked.
    [ Book mark this post to find it again]

    AntiX-16, MX-16 and Win 10

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •