Review: Google+ Auto Awesome

10 Awesome

Pros

  • Easy and fast
  • Download albums
  • Free

Cons

  • Unpopular network
Ease of Use: 10
Output Quality: 10
Peripheral Features: 10

Have you ever taken a series of photos that you’re sure are brilliant as you look at them on your phone or camera, only to find that they are pretty lackluster at full size? Me too. And it is super frustrating.

It’s particularly frustrating when you realize that a professional photographer would be able to go into Photoshop, punch a few shortcuts, and voila, perfect pictures! In my case, I even have access to Photoshop, which is a luxury not everyone has. What I lack is artistic skill and a background in the very complex program.

Thanks to Google+ though, we in the masses do not need to be subjected to lackluster images any longer! Why is that? Google+ Auto Awesome.

What Is It?

Quite simply, Auto Awesome is a feature of the little-used Google+ social network that automatically processes images (and even videos) that you upload to the network. Dull colors in a photo? Upload it to Google+ and POOF! vibrant colors! It’s really as simple as that.

A comparison of two photos, highlighting the improved quality after using Google+ Auto Awesome

Compare the Auto Awesome output on the left to the quality of the original image on the right. Holy moly!

Auto Awesome has actually been around for quite some time now (introduced sometime in 2013, I believe), and has had a few updates since then. Its foundation is that it takes your crummy photos and makes them gorgeous. And it does this very fast, and very consistently. Every time I see it happen I’m amazed. And just in case you’re worried it will screw something up, Google+ always maintains your original file, so you can go back. There is literally nothing to lose.

In addition to touching up your photos, Auto Awesome does some nifty things like string together series of similar photos to create often goofy animated GIF¬†files, and auto-create videos from snippets (complete with soundtrack). One of the more incredible (and creepy?) features is that it will automatically recognize when you have multiple group shots, identify the best smiles from the set, and create a new photo with everyone’s best smiles.

Really. I’m serious. I wouldn’t believe that it works, except I’ve seen it.

The Download Bonus

Screenshot highlighting the location of the Google+ album download option

Find the download option at the upper right of Google+ albums.

Another major bonus, which isn’t technically Auto Awesome, but just a feature of Google+, is that albums are downloadable in full with one click. Once an album is posted, your family and friends can simply navigate to the album page, click an arrow near the top right, and download a ZIP file with all the photos.

It winds up being a terrific way to share a large number of photos across distances. I’ve used it on several occasions to share things like wedding and family reunion pictures with family across the country.

Brilliant.

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