Why is everyone using Google Photos? What are its costs and features?

30 December 2022 by
Apryl Zhang

Every day we take countless photos to capture life's moments and memories. When the photos accumulate and our phone storage is insufficient, what should we do? Google Photos provides access and categorisation functions to help you easily manage every photo and video. So, is Google Photos easy to use? How much does it cost? Capture.HK will provide you with a detailed introduction to the functions and usage of Google Photos.

Google Photos Desktop Version

What is Google Photos?

Google Photos, also known as Google 相簿 in Chinese, is an online cloud storage service launched by Google in 2015. It is the most popular online storage service in the world. You can store photos and videos and manage all your media easily with AI technology. It is suitable for those who frequently take life photos and wish to have more storage space and well-organised photos.

Google Photos is compatible with various types of devices and platforms, including iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows, allowing you to access and browse your photos and videos on multiple platforms. The main features of Google Photos are as follows:

  • 15 GB of storage space: Each account has 15 GB of storage space, and you can choose to automatically back up all photos and videos in "high quality" or "original quality".
  • Free up space: Uploading and storing media to Google Photos saves space on your phone.
  • Auto Creations: Automatically creates short films, artistic collages, animations, and other content to make your photos more lively and interesting.
  • Advanced Editing Kit: Transform your photos with just a tap of your finger by using editing tools such as filters and light adjustments.
  • Sharing suggestions: Easily share photos and videos with friends and authorise them to access your photos.
  • Search function: You can search for photos based on people, places, and things in the photos.
  • Instant albums: Photos are automatically uploaded and albums are created without the need for manual updates. Different people and pets are automatically categorised.
  • Photo Books: You can create a photo book in just a few minutes.

According to statistics, as of 2019, there were over 1 billion users worldwide using Google Photos. Google was also named the most trusted technology company globally in 2022, ensuring that your personal media is protected properly.

How to use Google Photos?

1. Application Process

First, you can download Google Photos from Google Play or the App Store to your Android and iOS devices, including various types of smartphones, laptops, and tablets. In addition, you can also access your photo library by visiting the photos.google.com website on your browser.

Once you have installed Google Photos, you can log in to your personal Google account. If you do not have a Google account yet, simply click here and follow a few simple steps to register for a Google account.

Google Photos Desktop Home Page

2. How to upload or sync?

You can upload photos via a browser or the "Google Photos" app:

Uploading via browser

  • Open photos.google.com on your computer.
  • Click "Upload" in the top right corner, and then select "Computer".
  • Choose the desired photos to upload.
  • Click "Open".

You can also drag and drop photos to an album. Simply drag the photo to a specific album, and the photo will be uploaded to that album.

Uploading and syncing through the app:

  • Open and log in to the Google Photos app
  • Tap on the profile picture or initials in the top right corner
  • Select "Album Settings" > "Backup and Sync"
  • Tap the "Backup and Sync" toggle button to turn this setting on or off.

3. How to view and delete your photos?

Simply go to photos.google.com on your browser or open the "Google Photos" app on your mobile device to view and manage your photos and videos.

To delete a photo or video, you can select the item you want to delete on the web version, click on the "Select" icon and then click "Delete". This will move the item to the trash, which will be kept for 60 days. If you want to permanently delete it, you can click "Permanently delete" after selecting the item.

If you are using the app, you can press and hold the photo or video you want to delete (you can select multiple items at once), and then tap the "Delete" icon at the top to delete them. Note that if you backed up the photos and videos to Google Photos from your mobile device, deleting them from the app will also delete them from your device.

4. How to share with others?

To share photos and videos with your family and friends, you can follow these steps in Google Photos:

  1. Select the photo or video you want to share
  2. Tap the "Share" icon
  3. Choose who you want to share with and add a message if you want
  4. Tap "Send"

If you want to create a shared album:

  1. Select the photos or videos you want to include in the album
  2. Tap the "Add to" icon
  3. Choose "New shared album"
  4. Enter the album title
  5. Tap "Create" and tap "Share"
  6. Select who you want to share the album with and tap "Send"

Google Photos Subscription Price

Google One is a storage subscription plan that includes storage space used by Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. You can share Google One with up to five additional family members at no extra cost. The plan is charged as follows:



Free 15GB



Basic 100GB
HK$15 /month
HK$150 /year
Standard 200GB
HK$23 /month
HK$230 /year

Premium 2TB

HK$79 /month

HK$799 /year

Premium 5TB

HK$199 /month

HK$1,990 /year

Premium 10TB

HK$399 /month


Premium 20TB
HK$799 /month
Premium 30TB
HK$1,199 /month

Benefits of using Google Photos

In addition to basic access to photos and videos, the features of Google Photos are as follows:

1. Image search function

Google Photos already has some predefined search categories for specific themes, including people, places, and things. When you upload photos to Google Photos, its artificial intelligence system automatically categorises each photo and adds it to the designated category, allowing you to browse and search for relevant photos.

You can search for people, pets, places, or things through text search, just by entering the relevant name. You can also use suggested searches by clicking on the specified category to view related photos. In addition, the image search function can also search for themed photos such as food and colours.

Learn more: Google Photos: Amazing Image Search Function

Google Photos Searching Function

2. Cross-platform sharing function

You can use Google Photos' service and functions on any major platform, including iOS and Android, Mac and Windows desktop browsers. You can also share photos, videos or albums with family and friends, and there is no restriction on the platform or device they use, and there is no limit on the number of times you can share.

In addition, Google Photos has introduced a new "Friend Sharing" function. When you use Google Photos with others, the function will use Google's face recognition system to identify relevant photos and automatically share them with your friends, enhancing your connections with family and friends.

Learn more: Sharing Functions Across Platforms by Google Photos

Google Photos Sharing Function 

3. Automatic classification function

Google Photos uses an AI system to automatically categorise media, including people, places, things, and further classify and add them to specific categories. For example, in the "Things" category, Google Photos will further categorise your media and add them to specified categories such as "Sky," "Park," "Plane," and so on.

You can also mark frequently viewed photos with a "star" and then add them to a "favorites" folder for faster browsing in the future.

Learn more: Get Organised with Google Photos

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 HKD $2.00/Photograph


4. Automatic backup and proper date-based sorting

Enabling Google Photos' "Backup and Sync" function can automatically upload photos from your phone or camera to Google Photos, so you don't have to worry about forgetting to back them up. In addition, automatically uploaded photos are sorted by date, making it easy to browse them like a diary!

5. Automatic location tagging, route planning, and backup of travel memories

Even if you don't use GPS location tagging when taking photos, after uploading them to Google Photos, the system will automatically combine your location history from Google Maps, analyse your itinerary, and automatically integrate your photos and videos into a travel record to create beautiful memories! This is most suitable for travel-loving friends, who can use it to plan routes and automatically record and integrate travel memories.

6. Collaborative editing and annotation

In addition to sharing photos and videos with family and friends, you can also collaborate on editing photos with them. Furthermore, you can add annotations and explanations to some profound photos for easy recollection in the future or to share your feelings about the photos with loved ones.

7. Linked to Google account for use with Google Drive

By linking your Google account, you can also connect to Google Drive and other Google software, such as Google Slides. For example, you can add photos to Google Slides presentations or Google Docs files, or send photo albums to friends via Gmail, making it convenient for both life and work.

8.  Can be used as a digital photo frame with Google Nest Hub screen playback

If you want to reminisce about photos and videos with your family at home, you can use the screen playback function of Google Nest Hub to project photos or images onto the screen. In addition, you can also set the photos displayed on the screen when it is idle, using it as a digital photo frame.

Immediately digitise your precious photos!

In addition to digital photos and videos taken on your phone or camera, you can also digitise old albums, photos, video tapes, and digital media and store them in Google Photos. Capture HK's photo album digitisation service uses proprietary digitisation technology to efficiently digitise each photo and video for you. The album digitisation process uses a non-contact digitisation process to ensure that photos are never removed from or touched in your album. Photo files can be accessed directly in Google Photos, helping you preserve and share your cherished memories.

👉 Learn More about Capture HK Photo Album Digitisation service in details.

*This article is brought to you by Capture HK.

Capture HK is the premier analogue media digitisation company in Hong Kong.

Capture HK's business covers photographs, photo album digitisation, videotapes digitisation, including VHS, S-VHS, VHS-C, S-VHS-C Hi-8, Video8, Digital8, DV, DVCAM, MiniDV, DVC and digital media digitisation, including Secure Digital (SD), Smart Media (SM), MultiMediaCard (MMC) Compact Flash (CF), xD-Picture Card, Memory Stick, USB Drive, CDROM, DVD.

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