+Jaana Nystrom

Welcome to my Circleverse!

Google+ is my passion: I want to help others to get the most out of it.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Google+ Photos Auto Backup now in Picasa

Updates and changes, some good and some really bad.  Why did the Photos team have to remove the Creative Kit photo editor first from Google+ and now from Picasa?

Couldn't the (to me useless) Snapseed thingy be used in mobile Google+ apps only?
There are still some people who actually use a camera instead of a mobile device for shooting photos. Not all have Photoshop, either...  Well, back to the Gimp.

By the way, many people are looking for their Auto backup photos:
Your backups live here  and your deleted photos live here in the trash, for 60 days. 

New in Picasa - December 12, 2013

  • Picasa now includes Google+ Auto Backup for the Desktop.
  • Updates to RAW support to include newer cameras.
  • Patches to image handling. 
  • Updated file size limits for uploads: 50 MB or 100 MP.
  • "Edit in Creative Kit" function has been removed. (Oh why? Pity!)

Here are some questions and answers from Google:

How do I download Auto Backup for Mac or Windows?

Google+ Auto Backup is bundled with the latest version of Picasa for Windows and Mac. Current Picasa users will need to update their client to access the new feature.

Why is Picasa using Google+ to back up my photos? 

Since Picasa 3.9, we've made it easy for Picasa users to share the right photos with the right people with just a few clicks on Google+, so this isn't the first time Google+ and Picasa have worked together. Picasa users will now have the option to backup their photos safely and privately to Google Photos.

This is an opt-in feature and only photos that you explicitly select will be backed up to Google Photos. You can disable this feature at any time.

Why is this branded as Google+ Auto Backup when I need to be a Picasa user to use it?

Auto Backup is a Google+ feature that is available across iOS, Android and now via Picasa on Mac and Windows. Picasa users who have a large number of photos on their hard drives will find this feature handy for backup to the cloud. All photos uploaded through Google+ Auto Backup will default to private in Google+, so you can decide what actions to take once they are backed up to Google+.

What photos from Auto Backup for Mac and Windows are shared on Google+?

Just like Auto Backup for Android and iOS, your photos and videos backed up to Auto Backup for Mac and Windows are defaulted to private and are for your eyes only until you choose to share them on Google+.

Can I choose which folders on my desktop are backed up?

Select individual folders or whole directories to back up, and you can choose whether or not to automatically back-up photos and videos from SD cards/devices you plug into your computer.

How will my photos be organized once they’re uploaded?

Once your photos have been uploaded, they will appear along with other Auto Backup photos. We’ll arrange them by date in the Highlights section of Google+ Photos, and you can search #desktop in Photos Search to easily find all of the photos that you’ve backed up through your desktop.

What happens to photos/videos I delete from Auto Backup?

Deleting a picture backed up to Google+ will not affect copies of the picture on your desktop or SD card.

Do the photos and videos I upload through Auto Backup count against my Google storage limit?

If you choose to upload your photos and videos at full size, those files will count towards your Google storage quota (everyone gets 15GB for free). You can also choose to upload unlimited photos and videos at standard size (2048px photos and 1080p videos up to 15 minutes long) for free with no limit on storage.

When are you releasing an uploader for Google+ users?

We don't have anything to share about a standalone uploader app for Mac or Windows. This existing feature is available to all Google+ users if they download Picasa.

If you have any questions that require Picasa expertise, check out the Picasa Forum for Picasa-specific support.

Here is a comment from a Picasa Top Contributor in the Forum:

The way Google presents auto backup to us Picasa users is confusing, because we are used to having folders or albums "Synced to the Web" which means we put selected photos in an album and upload it to Web Albums to share with people. These photos can be edited in Picasa and the changes will "Sync" (Be propagated to the web albums).

Google+ Auto Backup is a completely different animal. It takes all our original photos as we acquire them or put them into folders that are being Auto Backed up and uploads them to a PRIVATE archive location in our Google+ account. After that it never messes with, changes, or deletes them, they are meant as a true backup in case of disaster.  If we edit and save or save a copy of one of these photos, auto backup may upload another copy of that photo, but it never changes or deletes the original, it makes a separate copy.

I don't really agree with the idea of automatically installing it with Picasa though, I think we should be told what it is and then asked if we want it in addition to Picasa because they are really not connected.

Basically, Google+ Auto Backup was originally an attempt by Google to address the problem of people never making backups to their photos and then having a disk crash. It really started with the smart phone crowd. I do think Auto Backup is a useful thing, particularly for the smartphone crowd.  They don't have a viable way to backup photos locally, and they are always losing their phone or flushing it down the toilet or...
They also get tired of the clutter and erase pictures etc. and change phones or carriers. Especially for that crowd there is not going to be much editing either.

For the Dedicated Picasa people though, it's a little harder to make the case, because a lot of us are into Photography. It isn't just a few family snapshots. We play with the photos a lot more and they are probably more precious to us.  We are going to want backups and want to have personal possession of the backups.  Even if we did use G+ Auto Backup, it would be a way of having the photos offsite in case of disaster. In other words as a backup to our primary backup. G+ Auto Backup was probably not really intended for us but for the casual photographer as a way of saving them from themselves.

I hope Google has some big servers, because auto backup for the masses is going to be a BUNCH of Terabytes.


More about the Auto backup for desktops

Picasa Help center - loads of information and advice

Download Picasa - Organize, edit, and share your photos

Good post with tips:  How to delete Auto backup photos

Google+ Photos update: Browse your photo highlights by date

From Googler +Jon Moon:
To help you find your photos even faster, we’re adding a drop-down calendar to “Highlights” that lets you jump straight to the year and month you’re looking for. To give it a try, just visit plus.google.com/photos on the desktop, and hover over the date at the top right of the page.

What do you use to edit your photos?

Read more about Google+ Photos:

Updates, tips and tutorials

Google+ Photo albums

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