Do we really need to present Google Photos? The search giant service, which has been integrated into our Google accounts via a Gmail address for several years, offers a library that organizes the images we capture on our smartphones, thanks especially to the strong algorithms.
An integrated service in your pocket
In addition to archiving your photos, it is possible to create a photo book directly from the application by selecting your images or by using the tracking functions directly integrated by Google. For example, Google Photos allows you to automatically sort photos by topic, activity, important moments, animals photographed or places visited.
Direct competition does not offer such a wide selection, even if some services can automatically sort and edit uploaded photos, such as Photobox.
Two formats, one point is the same
Google has simplified this in terms of choosing the formats offered, two in number: a softcover book of 18 x 18 cm, 20 pages, for € 14.99 and a hardcover book of 23 x 23 cm, 20 pages, for 24 € .99 (shipping cost not included). Simple, standard. This is the second version we have ordered.
The simplicity itself
Creating a book with Google Photos is as simple as that. Just open the site (or mobile application) of the same name and go to the “Photo Books” tab. Of course you need to be connected to your Google account for everything to work properly. Once in this menu, several options are available to you. You can choose to print an automatic selection made by Google Photos in the type “Best memories of the year”, or you can create your own album from A to Z. You can use photos already stored on your drive, or import new ones.
Pay attention to the size of the shots
Note that when importing new shots, you must choose between importing the original size of the shots or resizing it to a maximum size of 16 megapixels. All this so as not to overload the 15 GB available by default in Google Drive, which hosts Google account data and images. From the image selection tool, we have access to a light editor. A variety of color or B&W filters are available to us, as well as adjustment sliders for brightness, color and to give more “pep” to our image. It can also be cut and turned if desired.
Once the images have been imported, edited and selected, book creation will actually begin by clicking on the shopping cart icon. Typically, books are 20 pages, but it is possible to add more within the 140 page limit.
Simple, but effective
The editor of the book has a remarkable kindness. In the left column, you can arrange the pages as you wish, but it is not possible to move the photos directly from the main area. For sorting images, Google is not eccentric and only allows three formats.
It is also possible to save the original photo format. With a square-format book, large white margins above and below the print are available. For a more aesthetic result, you need to crop the photo in square format by choosing a layout with margins or by completely filling the page.
A page can contain up to four images, and it is possible to choose five different layouts if necessary. A caption can be added at the bottom of the page, with no possibility of changing the size of the characters or fonts. The title of the book on the spine or on the cover cannot be changed.
By clicking on each photo, you can easily crop the shot, but no more. You cannot change the margins, background or even the frame of the pages. Sure we don’t have the presence of the most advanced publisher on the market, but Google’s service is easily accessible for anyone who wants to create a photo book in minutes, even from their smartphone.
A print mode
Google hardly leaves us to choose the paper or the type of impression, the surprise remaining overall until the book is accepted. Finally, we got a product in matte printing, on classic paper. The least we can say is that the result is quite mixed. In our book, we first noticed a colorimetry pattern in the photo books tested, with an average Delta E of 5.4 – a good result in absolute terms.
As a reminder, it is considered that if Delta E is below 3 that the human eye cannot detect colorimetric drifts. Here, especially the yellow colors and the magenta variants are much more ordinary, even if in general, the accuracy of the colors is the same.
If we look at the print quality, we can immediately face many defects. Many artifacts, stains or streaks left by the printer are on many pages of the book. Scratches can be seen here and there, and are sometimes noticeable. These defects may be limited in our work, but the return of the damage is not a good sign.
The prints are correct at first glance, but suffer from comparison to a more recognized service like Cewe’s laboratory, which offers higher image quality and juice in its digital prints.
Relative printing quality
The printing itself isn’t the best we’ve seen before. Digital. The resolution is not very good, with a clearly visible frame. Solid colors and gradients can be better managed, bad bands are very visible. If it’s not completely bad and definitely less damaging than the manufacturing defects mentioned above, the shots don’t need to be highlighted.
The minimum union
Google has simplified it again. So his book is 23 x 23 cm with a hard cover. Compared to the 18 x 18 cm format and its soft cover, you get a bound book that is more resistant to the passage of time, and not a paper binding. Aside from the printing issues, our test copy suffered almost any forming issues.
But we can notice in the first three pages of the binding level marks, which will allow to suspect the errors in the collage. After page 3, we no longer encounter this problem.
A logo that cannot be removed
The cover is matte, with no other option. The print quality is good, but this kind of finish doesn’t improve the Google book. The work is light, and we noticed that laid flat, it’s never completely closed: it yawns a little, and doesn’t sweat in quality. Impossible to put a photo on the back cover, a Google Photos logo that can’t be removed can break the white monotony on this back.