5 reasons to use Google Photos on your iPhone

Google rolled out new features to Google Photos at its annual I/O developers conference. Is it time for iPhone owners to switch photo apps?

Matt Elliott Senior Editor
Matt Elliott is a senior editor at CNET with a focus on laptops and streaming services. Matt has more than 20 years of experience testing and reviewing laptops. He has worked for CNET in New York and San Francisco and now lives in New Hampshire. When he's not writing about laptops, Matt likes to play and watch sports. He loves to play tennis and hates the number of streaming services he has to subscribe to in order to watch the various sports he wants to watch.
Expertise Laptops | Desktops | All-in-one PCs | Streaming devices | Streaming platforms
Matt Elliott
2 min read

At Google I/O 2017, the company unveiled a number of improvements for its photo app, putting more distance between Google Photos and the stock iOS Photos app. There are now five reasons why Google Photos is better.

1. Unlimited and free cloud storage

I have been using Google Photos on my iPhone ever since Google introduced unlimited cloud storage. Sure, my photos will be resized if they're larger than 16 megapixels, but the shots I snap with my iPhone are safely below that limit. With Apple's iCloud storage, I get 5GB of storage free but that's nowhere close to what I or most other iPhone users need, which means I need to pay up to store my photos in Apple's cloud but not Google's.

2. Photo Assistant

Google's big announced at its I/O conference was that Google Assistant is coming to the iPhone, but Google Photos already has an Assistant. The Assistant in Google Photos isn't a Siri replacement, but it offers up collages, animations and movies from your photos. It's always a fun stop and something the iOS Photos app lacks.

3. Suggested Sharing

Now, we get to the new features announced at Google I/O. They won't be rolling out for another week or two but they look promising. First up, some help with sharing your photos. Google Photos will use machine learning to select photos and suggest which of your friends or family to send them to and ask to add their photos from the wedding, party, or whatever event you were all at. I look forward to being a better photo sharer with Suggested Sharing.


4. Shared libraries

You've opened your heart, now open your photo library. OK, that might be overselling it a bit, but the upcoming shared libraries feature sounds like a great way to share photos with that special someone in your life. You'll be able to give your spouse or significant other full access to your photos or only photos of certain people or a certain date forward (what are you hiding in your past?). Never miss another cute picture of the child or dog the two of your are raising.


5. Autopilot Photo Books

My brother and I each snapped a ton of photos from a family vacation we took not one but two summers ago. We thought putting together a photo book that prominently featured the grandkids would be a proper thank you for our parents, who financed the trip. Guess what? We look like terrible sons because it was so hard to put together a photo book from our separate libraries using the Photos app on iOS and MacOS that we still haven't done it. Google is getting into the Photo Books game. I don't know if Google Photos will make creating a photo book from two separate libraries easier, but I love the idea of it automatically picking the best shots from my vacation photos and throwing them into a book. The first step of any journey is the hardest, they say.