Google Photos — Everything you need to know!

Google Photos app on iPhone
Google Photos app on iPhone (Image credit: Google)

August 22, 2017 - Google Photos may support iOS 11's HEIF file format

A new update for Google Photos will make a very specific group of people happy:

  1. You use Google Photos to back up your photos on iOS, and
  2. you've installed the iOS 11 beta on your Apple devices.

Come iOS 11, Apple will be introducing a new file format called HEIF that will make quite an impact on your storage by reducing the size of your images. You can learn more about that here:

How HEIF and HEVC will keep you from running out of space on your iPhone

Anyone who decided to install the iOS 11 beta and convert their image files to the new format, however, found that certain apps and services couldn't interact with the files. Google Photos, which offers free unlimited storage for photos and videos (up to 16 megapixels and 1080p HD, respectively), was just one example.

As of a new update on August 22, 2017, however, it appears Google Photos now supports the HEIF file format (HEIC is the filename extension). Will Sigmon shared this screenshot on Twitter, which appears to show an HEIF image file successfully backed up by Google Photos:

Some replies to the tweet claim they haven't been able to get it to work. We've found several HEIF images in our Google Photos library, but it's unclear if they were uploaded via Google Photos backup.

The Verge:

The best photo product on Earth.


Google Photos is your new essential picture app.

The New York Times:

Upload the pictures, and let Google Photos do the rest.

If you're someone who has a lot of photos and videos to keep organized on your iPhone and you're looking for an easy access, no-nonsense way of making sure your memories are in order, then Google Photos may be just the app for you.

Designed with totally free unlimited storage space, visual search, the ability to send a photo in seconds, and so, so much more, there's no surprise that Google Photos has been praised as a must-download necessity for serious and casul picture-takers alike.

Here is absolutely everything you need to know about Google Photos!

What is Google Photos?

Google Photos:

Google Photos is a smarter home for all your photos and videos, made for the way you take photos today.

Essentially the app acts as a hub for all of your mobile pictures and videos that can easily be accessed from almost any device.

Once you snap a photo or a video on your iPhone or iPad, it's instantly uploaded to your Google Photos account, so there's no need to manually upload, select, and comb through individual photos in order to access them later, even on different devices.

With Google Photos, you get:

  • Free unlimited storage
  • The ability to free up space on your iPhone
  • Visual search
  • Automatically create movies, collages, GIFS, panoramas
  • Edit and transform your photos with a tap
  • Advanced stabilization which will turn your Live Photos into looping videos or GIFS
  • Smart automatic albums
  • The ability to send photos in seconds
  • Collages and photos you took a year ago on this day to feel #nostalgic
  • The ability to view your photos and videos on your TV with Chromecast support

How does it work?

Simply sign up for Google Photos with your selected Gmail email account, choose to sync your iPhone to your account, and start organizing instantly!

You can back up photos anywhere, never run out of storage, use smart albums to document and keep track of all your memories and adventures, find your photos faster with a smart-tagging system, create fun animations, collages, movies, and so, so much more.

What is Assistant?

Assistant is a feature on Google Photos that allows you to create albums, collages, animations, and movies.

It will also automatically suggest and make different examples of collages, albums, and whatever else from your camera roll.

What about albums?

Albums is a feature on Google Photos that allows you to sort your pictures into different categories like shares, people, places, things, videos, collages, animations, and movies.

You also have the option to create your own album and add whatever images or videos you want into it.

How much does it cost?

Google Photos is a completely free app to download, so it doesn't matter how many images you sync and upload!

What devices can I use Google Photos on?

You can access your Google Photos account from a web browser or download the Desktop Uploader for Mac or Windows computers. It is also available on iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

How do I get Google Photos on my iPhone or iPad?

You can dowload the app right here!


Do you have any questions about Google Photos specifically? Are you a big fan of the app, or is there another photo organizing app that you think works best?

Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below!

Cella Lao Rousseau

Cella writes for iMore on social and photography. She's a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau