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Google Wants to Store All Your Photos for Free, Forever

At today’s Google I/O developers conference, the search giant unveiled Google Photos, a new app that will help you store an unlimited number of photos, find the ones you want, and share them free of charge.

Google Photos will let you view, search, and share them in a variety of ingenious ways.

Related: The 7 New Flickr Features That I’m Not Allowed to Review

Like every other online photo service, the app organizes your images chronologically by default. But you can also view your photos by subject or location. The app uses machine learning technology to automatically identify what’s in your photos without requiring you to laboriously tag each one.

For example, typing “Disneyland” into the app’s search field will automatically pull up every photo you’ve taken when visiting the Magic Kingdom.

A new interface will let you go from viewing a single day’s worth of photos to weeks’, months’, or years’ worth of images simply by pinching the screen with your fingers. Need to embarrass your strapping 18-year-old with those naked baby photos? You can go back through your collection years at a time with a couple of swipes.


Google Photos Assistant (photo courtesy of Android Police)

Like the Auto Awesome feature introduced in Google Plus, the app’s Photo Assistant tool will automatically create “stories” from images taken in the same time period or location. You will be able to edit each image and add filters; you can also edit the images it uses, add a soundtrack, change transition effects, and more.

Photos allows you to share your images across more than 20 different social networks and messaging apps with a couple of clicks. Your lucky recipients won’t need to install the app in order to view them, and they can save the images or videos to their own devices.

Want to share more than one image at a time? Instead of clicking each image in an album, you simply select the first image and drag down to collect them all in one group.

Google Photos will offer an unlimited amount of storage for images up to 16 megapixels and HD videos with resolutions as high as 1080p.

The app will be available for download later today from the Google Play and Apple iTunes stores.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to add information about Google Photos' unlimited storage feature.

Send email to Dan Tynan here or follow him on Twitter.

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