5 tips for using Google Clips

There's more to it than just clipping and recording.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
2 min read

The  Google Clips is a hands-free camera that can capture spontaneous moments throughout your day. There are a few rules you need to follow to get the best shots.

Plan on photographing things with faces

If you want a Clips to take photos of your dinner or that fabulous sunset, you're out of luck. The tiny cube camera is only programmed to recognize faces. 

Now, this can mean human faces or even cat and dog faces, but the Clips typically won't snap a photo without a face, though sometimes it will. If you know you want a certain shot, be sure to click the Clips' shutter button.

Teach it what you love

A Clips can also learn which faces you like best. You can train it before letting it shoot by holding it in front of the faces you most want to capture, for 3 seconds each. If you want it to learn even faster, Google recommends letting it download photos from your Google Photos library.

Clips can recognise pets and humans.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Be choosy about placement

Google designed the Clips to record people and pets around 3 to 8 feet away from the lens. This means that you need to get crafty with your placement. 

For example, if you want to catch your toddler doing something cute when she's supposed to be napping, clip the camera to the bed railing or the back of a chair that you can scoot near the crib.

Use it as a backup camera

Google readily admits that the Clips isn't designed to be your go-to camera during special events. It's intended to capture moments that you may miss, so it can be the perfect backup camera. So put it near the action, but keep your regular camera handy, too.

Use the Clips app to save or nix photos that your Clips takes. To get done quickly, pretend you're looking at a dating app. Swipe right to save and swipe left to delete.

Choose the perfect moment

Some people think that you can just put the Clips somewhere and let it go for the 3-hour battery life. Google did some research, though, and found that you should plan on 10-to-15-minute shoots while something interesting is happening to get the best results. Otherwise you may end up with a bunch of shots of nothing much happening.

Up close with Google Clips

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Watch this: Let Google Clips take the photo while you play with your kid