Follow these tips and tricks to get the most out of your Google Photos account.

By Tamara Kraus
Updated July 12, 2017

While it’s a heartfelt idea, sifting through old photos to hand-create a scrapbook is often just too time consuming. But with Google Photos, you can now curate photos like a pro in just minutes.

The app works on iOS and Android and allows you to back up an unlimited amount of photos and videos for free (up to 16 MP and 1080 HD), search your library (just like you would in Google Image Search), and then put together GIFs, collages, and photo books right from your smartphone.

Photos are searchable by places and objects in the photos—all without tagging. So, for example, if you want to see pictures of your puppy, simply type “dog” into the search bar. Once you type in a word or phrase, Google will automatically select the best photos. Then if you want to create a photo book, all you need to do is choose between a soft or hardcover (from $9.99 and $19.99, respectively), create titles and move around the photos within the layout, and you’ll have a beautiful scrapbook that looks like it took days to create.

To get the most out of this time-saving app, here are five tips from the Google team to maximize your experience:

The Sharing Tab

This is where you will see your Google Photos sharing activity, which includes photos and videos sent to you along with those you sent out. At the top of the screen, it will suggest who you should share photos with based on your sharing habits and the people in the images.

Suggested Sharing

Thanks to this feature, your friends and family won’t have to constantly remind you to send those photos you took on last month’s vacation. The machine-learning technology reminds you to share those images with the people who are in them. Simply tap “send,” and your friends and family will see all those photos and get a reminder to add theirs as well. Now all the photos of that memorable weekend trip will be right at your fingertips to browse and share online.

Shared Libraries

If you want to send someone images directly, use the Shared Libraries feature. To start the process, go to the menu bar in the top left, select “Share your library,” and enter the recipient’s e-mail address. You can share entire photo libraries or just a few hand-selected images. And if you want to give someone access only to photos starting from a certain date, that’s also possible.

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Post a Better #tbt With PhotoScan

Picture this: you’re on Instagram, wishing you could post that old, treasured pic of your grandparents, but it’s not digital so no-can-do. Right? Wrong! That’s where PhotoScan comes in. This function creates high-quality digital copies of photos in seconds—it detects edges, straightens the image, rotates it to the correct orientation, and even removes glare. Scanned photos can be saved straight to Google Photos so they’re ready to view right away.

New and Improved Editing Tools

There is such a thing as choosing the wrong filter for your photo. But never fear: Google Photos offers unique "looks," which make edits based on the individual photo and its brightness, darkness, warmth, or saturation, before applying the style. All looks use machine intelligence to complement the content of your image. There are also editing adjustments you can make called "Deep Blue" and "Skin Tone," which only edit certain aspects of your photos (like water and the sky) and avoid over-saturating other parts (like faces).