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Inside Google Photos: A super-smart cloud for your memories

Google Photos isn’t the first cloud photo storage service, or the first media management platform, but first impressions suggest Google has raised the stakes with its smart new system. Announced at Google I/O today, and further detailed in a later session by Bradley Horowitz along with the rest of the Google Photos team, much of the near-magic is what’s going on behind the scenes, such as how it uses landmark recognition to fill in missing geotags, intelligently deals with diminishing storage on smartphones, and even differentiates dogs.

“My background is computer vision. I’ve been working on this problem for twenty years,” Horowitz said. “We are bringing Google scale technology to the problem [of taming media] … I think we’re at the point where the system can take care of the tedium for you.”

For instance, Geotagging is something we take for granted on smartphone and tablet cameras, but it’s still relatively rare to find on dedicated cameras and, of course, is absent from images you’ve scanned in from old prints or negatives.

Other photo storage services allow for manual organization by geography, but Google Photos does it itself and in a surprising way. Google relies on landmark recognition, able to spot and identify over 250,000 different locations, buildings, and oft-photographed icons: so, if you stood in front of the pyramids but were shooting with an old DSLR, Google Photos will ID the buildings and know you’re in Egypt.

Even if you move and there’s not a key landmark, Photos can infer where you’re likely to be from other recent shots, based on how far you could feasibly have moved in the meantime.

The object recognition doesn’t stop there. The search box in Google Photos can flag up dogs, or drinks, or diggers, based on what’s on each frame and without any prior organization on the part of the user. It isn’t just limited to broad-strokes queries, either: during the demo, Lee showed how it was able to show only golden retrievers, not every dog in his gallery.

Complex searches can be combined, too. Lee searched for “food in Hawaii” and got results limited to meals where the photos were captured in that location.

“It makes our memories much more accessible than they used to be,” Lee pointed out.

Google Photos also does Google+ style editing to try to make photos and videos more interesting. For instance, when adjusting the brightness of an image of people – say, when they’re backlit and their faces are in shadow – Google Photos will spot the faces and tweak its algorithms to particularly boost the visibility in those regions.

Other editing tools will include cropping, level adjustments, and more. Photos will warn if you’ve already shared the shot, and that those people will see the changed version, prompting you to make a copy first. Incidentally, if you’ve shared content and then revoke that privilege, the photos and videos won’t be deleted from that person’s account if they’ve added them to their library first.

There’ll be intelligent collage creation, and automatically-curated videos made up of various clips and photos uploaded from the same event. As with Google+, you’ll be able to rearrange or remove individual clips from those highlight reels, together with changing the background music. “This is almost like having a Hollywood producer following you around,” Lee suggested, “and documenting your life with these short videos.”

Google+ Stories are present too, and Photos will also support their manual creation.

The flip-side to all this, mind, is how comfortable you are with handing over all your photos to Google. Horowitz is keen to stress how focused the company is on privacy – hence consciously splitting Google Photos away from Google+, which Google is seeing as increasingly for socializing and groups – and right now the search giant says there are no monetization plans for the platform. Meanwhile, there’s Google Takeout to then extract them from the server if you want to.

What you’ll get when you do that – or when you share images – depends on what plan you subscribe to. While the “High Quality” plan – the free one – includes unlimited photo storage at up to 16-megapixels and up to video at 1080p, Google is actually applying compression in order to minimize the hit on its servers.

“We’re actually re-encoding your images at near-identical quality,” Lee explained. “It’s visually identical, but takes up a lot less storage … These photos really are identical to the human eye.”

On the flip side, since Google Drive can see anything you’ve uploaded through Photos, you can use the desktop sync client to pull down a local copy to your PC or Mac. If you’re keeping your originals in Google Photos, and running short on space on your Android handset or iPhone, the app will flag up those you have full versions of which stored in the cloud, and offer to delete the local duplicates in one fell swoop.

Not every photo management service is created equal, and while you can find lashings of cloud storage for free or almost-free in several places, few seem to be doing quite as much as Google in computational vision and image analysis. That clearly comes with a compromise in terms of what processing Google is doing – the company is saying nothing but reassuring things right now about its intentions with your data – but it’s tough not to be impressed by the results.

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How To Automatically Upload Your Photos To Google Photos Instead Of Icloud On Iphone

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to set up Google Photos on your iPhone, move photos and videos from iCloud Photos to Google Photos, disable iCloud Photo Library, and enable auto-upload of iPhone photos to Google Photos.

Why use Google Photos on iPhone?

Accessing iCloud Photos on iPhone, iPad, Mac, or a Windows PC is easy. Unfortunately, if you also use an Android phone you can’t easily access your iCloud Photos. To address this, you might want to automatically back up your iPhone pictures and videos to Google Photos, which is available on all major platforms.

In addition to that, the popular photo and cloud storage service from Google offers several cool features. It comes with face and pet recognition, AI search using keywords, plenty of editing options, Google Lens, and more.

Google offers 15GB of free storage to anyone who signs up for the service, while with iCloud Photos, you get just 5GB. You can upload photos either in original or compressed high-quality, which can save some space. The stored photos and videos will be available across any number of devices via the Google Photos app.

How to set up Google Photos on your iOS device

Setting up Google Photos is quick and straightforward. If you don’t already have the app on your iPhone, then you can download it for free from App Store. When you first launch the app after installation, you’ll need to provide full access to your photos. After this, you’ll be asked to sign in using a Google account.

If you have already used a Google account on the iPhone, you can sign in directly, or you can open a new Google account. Once you’ve signed in, you should be able to use the Google Photos app as an alternative to the stock iOS Photos app. Before you start backing up photos to Google Photos, we recommend doing the following.

Move photos from iCloud to Google Photos

If you haven’t backed up your iPhone photos to iCloud Photo Library yet, then you can skip this step and simply back up everything to Google Photos. If you have several photos and videos on iCloud Photos, you can move them all to Google Photos with Apple’s Data & Privacy transfer tool.

Here’s how to migrate photos and videos from iCloud to Google Photos:

1) Head over to Apple’s privacy website.

2) Sign in using your Apple ID and password.

3) Choose Request to transfer a copy of your data.

5) Sign in using your Google ID. Allow Apple to add photos and videos to your Google library.

That’s it. A copy of your photos and videos from iCloud will be transferred to Google Photos and will appear in the app on your iPhone. You can then delete all your photos and videos from iCloud Photos.

Disable iCloud Photos

Next, you can disable iCloud Photo Library so that photos and videos aren’t backed up to Apple’s service anymore going forward. Follow the steps below to do this.

1) Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.

2) Tap your name at the top of the Settings menu to access iCloud options. Select iCloud from the menu.

3) Now, tap Photos.

4) Turn off iCloud Photos and My Photo Stream.

iCloud Photos is now successfully disabled and will no longer back up your iPhone photos and videos to iCloud.

How to auto-upload photos from iPhone to Google Photos

You can now set up auto upload of photos from your iPhone to Google Photos. This means you won’t have to manually back up photos to the service. Here’s how to go about it.

1) Open the Google Photos app on your iPhone.

2) Tap your profile picture from the top right corner and select Google Photos settings.

3) Tap Back up & sync.

4) Turn on the toggle for Back up & sync.

Your iPhone photos and videos should now automatically back up to Google Photos. Once everything is backed up, you can even delete the photos and videos from your device’s Photos app if you’re running out of storage.

Also about Google Photos:

Splyce Puts A Dj Inside Your Iphone

With the recent launch of

With the recent launch of Algoriddim’s new djay 2 app , it brings up the notion of mixing music on the fly so that, when you have friends over, you can play music that fits the mood.

Splyce is a deejay app that is not nearly as complex as djay, but it does mix your music for you on the fly and even makes sure that songs are played in compatible beats so you aren’t going nuts with your music…

Design

The app follows the iOS 7 design that we are seeing so much in new apps. It offers a flat, colorful palate with a white, bold font. You can switch between six different color themes, each with a hue variation. For example, the blue theme includes various shades of the color. Plus, the wave chart features compatible blues and oranges.

The songs are listed with their titles in bold and the artist directly below. At the far right of the song, you will see its listed beats per minute (BPM). The BPM is what the app uses to mix your playlist.

Above the list of songs, there is a wave chart that shows a visual representation of the part of the song you are listening to.

The menu can be accessed by dragging your finger downward from the pull down tab at the top of the screen. You can change the controls and settings in the menu screen, including Mix Mode, Duration, Mix Time, Order, Color, and Lighting.

App Use

The first thing you will do is add music to Splyce. Tap the plus (+) symbol in the upper left corner of the screen to access your iPhone’s music. Then, tap the song you want to add to the playlist. You can add specific songs or add everything in your iTunes library by pulling down on the song list and selecting “I want it all.” You can even add iCloud songs by turning the feature on in the settings section.

You can change the Mix Mode between three different types. You can let the BPMs go as they are, without trying to match up with the next song. If you want to get songs to match rhythms, you can slow down the first few seconds of one song to its predecessor and then slowly increase to its actual BPM throughout the song. If you want the rhythm to stay exactly the same throughout, you can set a steady BPM that will try to keep all songs at one speed. If the BPM is way too slow, the app will adjust to the higher speed during the new song and reset for the rest of the playlist.

If you only want your songs to last one or two minutes, you can cut them short by adjusting the duration of the song. Switch between 60, 120, 180, and 240 seconds, or allow the song to play out all the way.

You can also adjust the mix time at the end of the song to either 10 or 20 seconds. The mix time is the length of time that the beginning of one song overlaps the end of the previous song.

If you really want your party to pop, turn on the lighting feature and turn your iPhone into a virtual disco ball. You can set your device’s camera light to flash with the rhythm of the song, or adjust the app’s screen to blink to the beat. If you invested in the Philips Hue lighting system, you can even connect Splyce to your room’s lights and sync with the beats.

The Good

The app is easy to use. You can sync every song in your music library and just set it to play. It will reorganize all of your songs and play them in order of how fast they are.

I like being able to adjust the duration of songs. If you are exercising, you may not want to listen to all three verses and seven repeating choruses of one song. You can set it for one or two minutes and then move onto the next without having to skip a song.

The Bad

It doesn’t work perfectly. I noticed a few times when, in steady rhythm mode, songs would sound distinctly slowed down. Like, a female voice would sound low and slow. The app is supposed to adjust to the speed and eventually increase to match its actual BPM, but the song sounds stupid at such a slow speed.

Additionally, there were a couple of times when my fast punk songs showed up during the 50 BPM playlist. I’m not sure how thrash metal is matched up with indie pop.

Value

Splyce is free to download. There is a $0.99 full unlock in-app purchase, but other than adding Philips Hue lighting connection, I’m not sure what it offers that the free version doesn’t. You can add all of your iTunes music and start a playlist based on the rhythm you want. Then, you can turn off the lights and set your iPhone to be the life of the party.

Conclusion

If you are looking for something that makes you feel like a deejay without having to learn all of the technical stuff, like pitch matching, rhythm mixing, and setting up a lighting board, you’ll enjoy the ease of use that this app offers. Download it in the App Store for free.

Related Apps

Algoriddim’s djay 2 is much more complex, but is somewhat similar. Cross DJ for iPhone is another app that syncs with your device’s iTunes library so you can cross fade songs. I don’t know of any other deejay app that looks the same.

Check If A Given Point Lies Inside A Polygon

In this problem, one polygon is given, and a point P is also given. We need to check whether the point is inside the polygon or outside the polygon.

For solving it we will draw a straight line from the point P. It extends to the infinity. The line is horizontal, or it is parallel to the x-axis.

From that line, we will count how many times the line intersects the sides of a polygon. When the point is inside the polygon, it will intersect the sides, an odd number of times, if P is placed on any side of the polygon, then it will cut an even number of times. If none of the condition is true, then it is outside polygon.

Input and Output Input: Points of a polygon {(0, 0), (10, 0), (10, 10), (0, 10)}. And point P (5, 3) to check. Output: Point is inside. Algorithm checkInside(Poly, n, p)

Input: The points of the polygon, the number of points of the polygon, the point p to check.

Output: True when p is inside the polygon, otherwise false.

Begin    if n<3, then       return false    create a line named exLine from point p to infinity, Slope of the line is 0°.    count :=0 and i := 0    repeat       create line called side, from point poly[i] to poly[(i+1) mod n]       if the side and exLine intersects, then          if side and exLine are collinear, then             if point p on the side, then                return true             else return false          count := count + 1       i := (i + 1) mod n    until i ≠ 0    return true if count is odd using namespace std; struct Point {    int x, y; }; struct line {    Point p1, p2; }; bool onLine(line l1, Point p) {        //check whether p is on the line or not    if(p.x <= max(l1.p1.x, l1.p2.x) && p.x <= min(l1.p1.x, l1.p2.x) &&       (p.y <= max(l1.p1.y, l1.p2.y) && p.y <= min(l1.p1.y, l1.p2.y)))          return true;    return false; } int direction(Point a, Point b, Point c) {    int val = (b.y-a.y)*(c.x-b.x)-(b.x-a.x)*(c.y-b.y);    if (val == 0)       return 0;              else if(val < 0)       return 2;          //anti-clockwise direction       return 1;          //clockwise direction } bool isIntersect(line l1, line l2) {    //four direction for two lines and points of other line    int dir1 = direction(l1.p1, l1.p2, l2.p1);    int dir2 = direction(l1.p1, l1.p2, l2.p2);    int dir3 = direction(l2.p1, l2.p2, l1.p1);    int dir4 = direction(l2.p1, l2.p2, l1.p2);    if(dir1 != dir2 && dir3 != dir4)       return true;              if(dir1==0 && onLine(l1, l2.p1))        //when p2 of line2 are on the line1       return true;    if(dir2==0 && onLine(l1, l2.p2))               return true;    if(dir3==0 && onLine(l2, l1.p1))             return true;    if(dir4==0 && onLine(l2, l1.p2))       return true;    return false; } bool checkInside(Point poly[], int n, Point p) {    if(n < 3)       return false;                  //when polygon has less than 3 edge, it is not polygon    line exline = {p, {9999, p.y}};      int count = 0;    int i = 0;    do {       line side = {poly[i], poly[(i+1)%n]};           if(isIntersect(side, exline)) {          //if side is intersects exline          if(direction(side.p1, p, side.p2) == 0)             return onLine(side, p);          count++;       }       i = (i+1)%n;    } while(i != 0);       return count&1;             } int main() {    // line polygon = {{{0,0},{10,0}},{{10,0},{10,10}},{{10,10},{0,10}},{{0,10},{0,0}}};    Point polygon[] = {{0, 0}, {10, 0}, {10, 10}, {0, 10}};    Point p = {5, 3};    int n = 4;    if(checkInside(polygon, n, p))       cout << "Point is inside.";    else       cout << "Point is outside."; } Output Point is inside.

How To Manage The New Memories Feed On Google Photos

What to know

Google is experimenting with a new Memories toggle on the Google Photos app that will lead to a dedicated page for all your memories.

The Memories feed contains collages of pictures that make up a Memory with an option to only edit their titles currently.

Some users may find additional options on their Memories feed, which can be attributed to the experimental phase that the feature is currently in.

There’s no news on when the new Memories feed will be rolled out to everyone. 

Thanks to its wide array of smart editing features, Google Photos is considered one of the best photos app in the business. Lately, Google is looking to add a new toggle for the Memories features in your feed to make sure your fond memories get their own space on Photos’ homepage. 

What does this new Memories toggle in the feed do, and how can you manage the Memories feed on Google Photos? All this coming up!  

What is the new Memories feed on Google Photos?

Google is always experimenting with new ways to package already-existing features, and not without its own reasons. Such is the case with the Memories feature which groups together photos from a particular time and place that show up as story cards for easy remembrance from time to time. The addition of a new Memories feed on Google Photos looks to give new space where all these memories could be clubbed together in a timeline. It will also provide a new way to access and manage memories. 

How to manage the new Memories feed on Google Photos

The new Memories feed will be available from the ‘Photos’ tab itself where you will see a new toggle to shift between ‘All photos’ and ‘Memories’. 

Within the ‘Memories’ feed, you will find all your memory collections on a single timeline. Each memory is represented by a collage of pictures that make it up. 

There is a single ‘Edit’ button at the top right corner…

This will allow you to change the titles of all the memories at once.

Once you’ve made the change, tap on ‘Done’ to finish.

Additional Memories feed options show it’s still in an experimentation phase

As we tried the new Memories feed, we spotted additional options that came and went every time we opened the Photos app. A case in point is the following screenshot which shows a three-dot menu at the bottom right corner of every memory…

Tapping on this revealed two options – ‘Edit title’ and ‘Remove’.

Though this was only accessible once, and was quickly replaced by the relatively permanent features shown previously, we personally think this would be a better implementation as it would let users change the titles independently, or delete the memories if they so choose.

In either case, the Memories feed is still in an experimental phase and the two different types of feeds that we managed to see are only indicative of that. 

Currently, there is no news on when or if this new Memory feed will be rolled out to general users. So keep an eye out for future updates on the same.

FAQ

Let’s take a look at a few commonly asked questions that early users are bound to have regarding the new Memories feed on Google Photos.

When will the new Memories feed on Google Photos be available?

There is no real news on when this new Memories feed on Google Photos will be made available. 

Why does my Memories feed have different options on Google Photos?

The Memories feed is still in an experimental phase so it’s likely that Google is trying out different options on Google Photos to see what works best. Rest assured, when Google lands on the right mix of options, you will have the same options on your Memories feed as everyone else.

The new Memories feed on the Google Photos app looks to add a separate space for all your memories in one location. That it is still in an experimental phase is quite clear, and one can’t be sure what the final look of the feed will be. Whatever it may be, you can rest assured that we’ll be on it. Until next time!    

Thinkware F200 Pro Dash Cam Review: Detailed Video In A Super

The Thinkware F200 Pro is one of the classier units we’ve tested and it takes excellent 1080p video (narrow color gamut) both day and night. A bit pricey, but worth it.

Thinkware’s F200 Pro is the slimmest, least dash-cam-like dash cam we’ve ever tested. That’s a very good thing if you don’t want people to know you’re recording, or simply want to remove it from your own view behind the rear-view mirror. Beyond that, it’s one heck of product, worth the slight premium over rock-bottom budget models.  

Design and features

The primary reason the F200 Pro manages such a tiny profile (approximately four inches wide by one inch thick, and just under two inches tall) is that there’s no display. All configuration and control are done via the Thinkware phone app. Thinkware has gone display-less before with its dash cams, but until the F200, it never resulted in such a severe reduction in size. As small as it is, the dash cam runs only slightly warm to the touch, so good job on the shrink job, Thinkware.

The F200 Pro takes 1080p/30-fps front video with a wide 140-degree field of view. The rear module captures video at the same resolution, with a wider 160-degree field of view.

Thinkware

Thinkware’s rear camera option for the F200 Pro is higher-resolution than previous Thinkware rear cameras according to the company, though the rear camera in our F700 review was 1080p.

The F200 Pro also has a supercapacitor, which keeps the unit going for a good two seconds. That’s easily long enough to save any capture in case the DC is interrupted. Not as good as battery that will allow recording post-interruption, but power-loss events are very rare. 

Also on board is a low-power parking mode with extensive settings to make sure your car battery remains capable of starting the car when it’s in use. There’s a storage-saving time-elapse record mode as well.

IDG

Thinkware offers extremely granular vehicle battery protection settings. 

IDG

The Thinkware app allows viewing and offloading of the F200 Pro’s video captures.

Though the F200 Pro lacks an integrated display, the phone app and voice feedback had me not missing it in the least. I’m a bit loath to admit it, but I’ve grown to like the phone-centric approach. At least when it results in a small form factor. Yup: I’ve evolved. Or maybe it’s decadence. You decide.

Performance

The daytime screen capture shown below was taken during a rather damp, though still bright day here in San Francisco. I mounted the camera on the dash this time for a more panoramic, street-level view.

IDG

The F200 Pro takes excellent and highly detailed 1080p day video.

IDG

The F200 handled low light conditions extremely well. The color isn’t true, but the detail is outstanding, even in the surrounding areas. Area detail will pop out more as you lighten the image in an editor.

Excellent for the price

The F200 Pro is is one of the classier units we’ve tested, and it takes excellent 1080p video (narrow color gamut) both day and night. The additional driver-assist features will appeal to some, but the phone app was so easy to use it finally made me a believer. A bit pricey, but worth it. 

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