Every iPhone, iPad, and Mac comes with Apple’s Photos app preinstalled, which handily allows you to store, edit, and sync your snaps across all of your devices.

The only thing is, Apple’s biggest rival provides its own equivalent service, and it’s arguably superior. Google Photos does most of what Apple Photos does, and a fair amount more besides.

Here are some of the key perks of Google Photos and how to access them.

Unlimited storage

Apple gives you a complimentary 5GB of cloud storage for your images on Photos, which almost sounds generous until you realize that Google Photos comes with free and unlimited cloud storage as standard.

As long as your images aren’t above 16-megapixels in size – which if you’ve taken them on an iOS device they won’t be – then they won’t count against your Google Drive storage limit. You can even opt to have Google Photos condense any images you have above that size at the outset.

Easy photo navigation

Navigating through thousands of images in the Google Photos iOS app is arguably easier than it is in Apple Photos. Both apps present variously sized grids of thumbnails separated into dates, but Apple Photos offers you three rather confusing layers which you need to navigate by tapping the back prompt at the top left.

In Google Photos you can simple pinch and de-pinch like you were viewing a map location, which switches between just two simple layers of thumbnails. Skipping between years, meanwhile, is a simple matter of using a slider along the ride side of the screen.

Powerful search

Google is the undisputed search champion, and it’s also broken out ahead of the pack in the related field of image recognition software. This really tells in Google Photos.

Type ‘cats’ or ‘beer’ into the Google Photos search bar and you’ll receive a pretty comprehensive list of all (or a large chunk of) the photos you’ve taken with those things in them. Apple has since added such a feature to its own Photos app, but it simply isn’t as powerful or effective as Google’s.


Apple’s Photos app may offer more comprehensive manual editing options, but Google Photos does the editing for you. Jump into any image and tap the Edit slider icon at the bottom, followed by Auto, and your image will receive a series of intelligently calculated balance tweaks which you can choose to either accept or discard.

Google Photos also analyses your photos and puts together GIFs and videos for you to consider. It really does feel like magic at times.