Google Photos continues to blow away the competition.
The two-year-old service is easily the best free way to back up and store all of your photos and videos. But what’s better than all the storage you want (limited to 16 megapixels for photos and 1080p resolution for videos, of course) are Google’s impressive software enhancements.
It’s not going to perform miracles on all your videos, but it does look mighty impressive when it works:
Nothing’s going to beat a steady stance and hardware optical image stabilization (either built into your phone or camera, or enhanced with a gimbal), but it’s hard to deny that Google’s doing some insane stuff with software.
If you’ve got videos that need some fixing, update your Google Photos app to the latest version, and then select a video. Tap on the pencil “edit” icon and then tap “stabilize.” Stabilization processing time will vary depending on the length of your video. Sadly, there’s no way to select a specific section of your video to stabilize. It’s all or nothing.
Video stabilization in Google Photos is Android-only for now, so if you’re looking to stabilize some videos on iOS, you’re out of luck. You can, however, upload your videos to Google Photos from your iOS device, and then use an Android device with the updated Google Photos app to access and stabilize uploaded videos.
This feature does make me wonder if Apple’s working on anything similar. Apple’s own Photos app for iOS, Mac, and iCloud pales in comparison when it comes to ways to easily fix photos and videos without too much effort. Hot hardware will always be Apple’s forte, but smarter software is where it needs to put more effort into.
WWDC is in a few months, so we may get a glimpse of some new Photos features then. But for now, Google Photos remains superior to Apple Photos in every way. If you’re not using it, you really should.