Apps

How to back up your photos using Google Photos

Give your phone some space to breathe

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When you’re running out of storage, what do you do? You back up the files you don’t need anymore. But for someone working in a tech-oriented industry, I’ve been a bit old-school.

I used to copy my photos to an external hard drive to preserve my memories and to save space. Before, I didn’t know how to back up my photos using cloud services. Then three years ago, my best friend introduced me to Google Photos.

ICYDK, Google Photos is a photo-sharing and storage service that lets you back up unlimited photos and videos. When I learned how easy it was to back up, it became essential to my life — as a reviewer and as a modern millennial.

Just like some millennials (and partly, the first wave of Generation Z), I have a severe obsession with taking selfies and capturing multiple shots of a single scene. This results in photographs taking a huge chunk of my phone’s internal storage.

A barrage of selfies and photographs I took from a recent trip

Thankfully, Google Photos has my back (up). It helps me with storing, organizing, archiving, and sharing my files. Best of all, I can do all of it for free albeit there’s a compromise. Still, it’s high time you use this app to do some digital de-cluttering. Here’s how you can do it:

Download Google Photos

It’s currently available in Google’s Play Store and the App Store. Older Huawei models still have access to Google, so you don’t have to worry. But if you’re relying on AppGallery, you can only preview and download your photos through a browser. Stock Android users don’t have to do this anymore since their photos and videos are automatically synced to Google Photos — which they already have on their phones.

Choose a backup setting

When you’ve successfully installed Google Photos, open it, and sign in using your Google account. You’ll get an option to back up high-quality photos in exchange for free unlimited storage. If you choose this setting, you can still enjoy great quality but its file size will be reduced. For photos, you can save up to 16 megapixels and for videos, you save up to 1080p HD. Not bad, right?

If you opt to back up the original size, the number of photos and videos you can save will be limited to your account storage. Since this setting will save the full resolution of your files, it’s best to use if you have increased the storage available via Google Drive.

Back up & sync

Backed up flat lays of my cooking adventures while on a lockdown

Upon installation, Google Photos will ask you to turn on “back up & sync”. If you allow it, the app will do its work by backing up your photos to the cloud. Once done, you can sync your photos and videos automatically every time you use Google Photos. It’s just a matter of regularly checking it!

Additionally, you can access Google Photos anywhere. Be it your smartphone, tablet, or even your laptop — this app is definitely a match made in heaven for those struggling with organizing their photos and videos. Just sign in to photos.google.com via your browser or use the app on any device with Google Services. You can also easily search your photos by people, places, and things since Google Photos automatically sort them for you.

Free up space

If you’re done backing up, you can free up space by going to Google Photos’ settings. If it’s backed up, you can remove the photos and videos on your device. Now, you don’t have to run out of space for new memories!

Making and sharing albums

For an even more organized life, you can sort your photos and videos into albums (and make it private even more, though you’re the only one who can really see it).

If you intend to share select photos/videos or an entire album, people can only access the content you want them to see through a magic link.

Totally safe and secure

While there have been issues surrounding cloud services and Google Photos, the app has been safe and secure so far. No one can access your photos and videos except you unless someone has access to your Google account. The photos and videos you shared with friends and the people you know can only preview what you’ve shared unless someone got hold of the link provided.

There are so many things you can do with Google Photos, and there are more features that we could talk about some time. But, for now, get yourself introduced to the app first. Do some digital decluttering and Marie Kondo your gallery. Your phone will thank you in the long run.

SEE ALSO: How to purge your social media accountsHow to download full-resolution Instagram photos on desktopHow to upload Instagram photos on desktop

Apps

WhatsApp delays roll-out of new privacy policy until May

Signal and Telegram are trending instead

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Photo by Dimitri Karastelev on Unsplash

WhatsApp rolled out a new privacy policy that clearly specifies how the instant messaging app will leverage your data for monetization. But the new privacy policy is on hold.

WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has announced that it will delay enforcing its new privacy terms from February 8 to May 15. In the blog post, the company says that none of its privacy-focused features are changing.

“We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15,” the statement said.

It faced massive backlash as users are worried about their personal data. When the privacy policy changes went public last week, the response from the public was downright brutal. Alternative apps like Telegram and Signal started trending worldwide as users started joining it in hopes of ditching WhatsApp.

Even though WhatsApp is end-to-end encrypted, Facebook will still fetch some crucial information like your transactions, location, and other behavioral data from linked Instagram profile. And, we all know Facebook has a nasty reputation as far as personal data management is concerned. What makes it even more outrageous is that the policy is leave or take, and there’s no third option.

In the wording used, WhatsApp says the new privacy policy will change how it partners with Facebook to “offer integrations” and that businesses can use Facebook services to manage WhatsApp chats. It said that hat all private messages between friends and family members will remain end-to-end encrypted.

According to a CNBC report, India’s technology ministry also asked WhatsApp to withdraw planned changes to its privacy policy that has drawn widespread backlash.

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Ultrahuman is an all-in-one fitness app

Workout, meditate and sleep soundly

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Staying physically and mentally fit is extra challenging during a pandemic, but it’s become essential now more than ever. Ultrahuman is a fitness app launched that offers a very convenient platform that targets the three main health points: physical exercise, meditation and sleep. It helps you stay fit from the moment you wake up until you go to bed!

This newest app, which debuted on CES 2021, features different content per category. It includes home workouts and yoga programs from world-class athletes and professional trainers to focus on your physical strength. You can choose from various workouts — from running and yoga to weightlifting and HIIT. The app is designed for all fitness levels.

With the app’s biofeedback technology, you can also track your heart rate and calories burned in real-time.

There’s also content focusing on mindfulness, including guided meditations, bedtime stories, calming meditation music, nature and sleep sounds, breathing exercises, among others. Manage stress and anxiety better by improving your mental health and sleeping patterns with the help of this series.

You can also listen to “brain music”, a section where you can find songs curated by “neuro-musicians” that aids focus, sleep and productivity.

Ultrahuman also partnered with UCLA, Mindsize, and Unified Mindfulness to bring the best of mind science and technology together.

The app is available on iOS and Android, and is already rolled out across 50+ countries globally. It’s been recognized by Apple as one of the top apps they love. Apple Watch users can also integrate their app to track their health progress real-time.

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Prepare your meals through your phone, fridge using Samsung SmartThings

The kitchen, simplified

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With everything going on in the world, it’s no surprise that people are spending more time in the kitchen and looking out for new recipes.

The good news? Samsung has just the thing to get it sorted quickly and easily. They’re bringing in Family Hub features into mobile users through the SmartThings app.

Samsung’s SmartThings Cooking service helps bring all of your Samsung kitchen appliances together. How? It lets you search, plan, purchase, and meal prep seamlessly through your phone or fridge through the SmartThings app.

On top of that, it recommends customized recipes based on your taste and preferences while considering ingredients available to you. You can scroll through recipe collections when you’re undecided or quickly zero-in on meals that suit your cravings.

SmartThings Cooking, powered by Whisk, is accessible through Samsung’s SmartThings. If you’ve got the Family Hub in your smart kitchen arsenal, there’s no need to fret.

The fridge keeps tabs of what you have and don’t, adding missing ingredients directly to your online grocery cart for at-home deliveries. Not to mention, you can shop through Walmart, Kroger, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh, using the Whisk network.

With SmartThings added to the Family Hub smart fridge, you get to enjoy all the cool features and more! You get to access your other smart kitchen gadgets through widgets on the screen, prioritize most used apps, and feature family photos, notes, and recipes.

And, if cooking is what you’re worried about, Samsung has you covered for even that. SmartThings guides you through easy cooking steps and lets you control cooking modes, temperatures, and time settings with one touch. Leaving you with little room for error.

So, with all that in mind, was it really a surprise to see Samsung’s Family Hub win its sixth consecutive CES Innovation Award this year? For us, not quite.

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