Google Photos (sadly) has its limitations

My relationship with Google Photos has been ambivalent. I loathed it, then used it as my backup tool while third-party galleries from the Play Store were a mainstay, and finally – Photos won me over.

I had to delete all my Gmail attachments and empty my Drive storage to salvage as much as of the 15 GB free storage allowance as I could for Photos exclusively.

Then, I found problems with Photos in its very early days as my primary gallery and backup tool.

  • One cannot add more than 500 photos at once to an album. However, through mulitple 500-strong additions to the same album, one can allegedly keep up to 1500-2000 photos in an album. Personally, I have not reached that number, yet.
  • One cannot add more than 1500 photos at a time to a shared album. Long family vacations can surpass this limit with some degree of ease.
  • Bulk select is excellent – bulk de-select is missing altogether. This only becomes a problem because Photos has limits on addition to albums at once (500).
  • Device Folders on your phone cannot be seen like so from the web app. They appear in Photos’ timeline itself, without any distinction from the other regular photos. No, Google.
  • Even something as simple as hiding photos needs a workaround, as demonstrated by How-To Geek.

Cleaning thousands of photos across five years was a pain given these shortfalls. I hope there are solutions sooner rather than later, though the signs are not encouraging if you head over to Google’s Product Forums.