Welcome to the "Android phone: Cloud backup and photo sharing" course. When you create a Google Account to sign in to your Android phone, you also get free cloud services that let you backup your files, photos, and videos. You can also synchronise, or sync, your photos, videos, and files across different devices, such as your phone, tablet and computer. A Google Account also comes with lots of free software, such as a word processor, spreadsheet, calendar, and much more! And it also comes with the Google Assistant, which accepts voice commands to search the web, set reminders, and many other useful things. In this course, you'll learn how to use Google Photos to back up your photos and videos so that you can see them on any device, and share them with family or friends. Now, there are lots of different models of Android phone, and they're all slightly different. So, some of the steps in this video might look a bit different on your phone. Don't worry, though. You'll still be able to follow along.
It should take around 13 minutes to complete the video, but you can pause or rewind to check any steps you're unsure about. Before you begin, check that your phone is fully charged, and has the latest version of its operating software. You'll also need an internet connection over home Wi-Fi or access to mobile data via a mobile phone account and plan. And you'll need to have the Google Photos app installed on your phone and be signed in to your Google Account with your email address and password. Finally, to get started your Android phone should be switched on, unlocked, and showing the Home screen.
Let's start by learning how we can back up our photos to the cloud and share them with friends and family. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to show all your apps. Find the Google Photos app, which looks like four colourful semi-circles. It's important to open the Photos app, not your phone maker's Gallery app. Some Android phones might call their Gallery app Your Photos, or something like that. But these are not what we're after, rather, we're looking for the Photos app. If you can't see it on the Apps screen, it may be in the Google folder, so tap on it. We've found it! But if you can't find the Photos app on your phone, you can download it for free from the Google Play Store.
Tap the Photos app icon, to open the app! If this is the first time you've used the Photos app, you will need to give it permission to access photos and other files on your phone. This is necessary for the app the work properly, and is safe to do. Tap Allow. The next screen will ask if you want to back up the photos and videos on your phone to your Google Account. If the account name and email address on the screen belong to you, tap Turn on backup. The next screen lets you choose the quality at which you store your photos. If the Original option is not already highlighted, tap it so that the box around it becomes blue. Below that, the 'Back up over mobile data' option lets you set your photos and videos to be backed up using the mobile data network when there's no Wi-Fi available. Using mobile data can be expensive, so let's leave this setting off. The switch should remain grey. Now, tap Confirm.
Your phone may then offer a slideshow about what you can do with Google Photos. You can tap Next in the bottom-right corner to see the information, but for our demonstration, we'll tap Skip to move onto the next step. The Google Photos main screen appears, showing your photos and videos. You'll also see your Google Account profile icon in the top right. In our example, it's a circle with an initial, but yours may be an image or a photo. If it has a blue line moving around it, the photos and videos on your phone are being backed up to the cloud. Tap on your profile icon. A box will pop up with some information that helps you manage Google Photos. The box will show that your photos are backing up. Below this, the Account storage section shows you how much space your photos and videos take up, in the cloud. Your Google Account comes with 15 gigabytes of free cloud storage, and when this runs out you will need to purchase more or delete some photos, or other files from the cloud. Now tap on Account storage.
A new page opens titled, Back up & sync. The Back up & sync switch should be blue, which means it's on. This means that every time you take a photo or video using your phone, the Photos app will back them up to your Google Account cloud storage. To stop backing up your photos and videos, you can tap the switch so that the button becomes grey. Below this, you'll see your name and Google Account details, plus a button you can tap to purchase more cloud storage. For now, tap the back arrow to return to the Google Photos pop-up box. Below Account storage you might see something like Free up space. You can tap the Free up button to open a new screen with information about how to safely remove photos from your phone to free up space on your device. If your phone is not connected to the internet, you won't be able to see the photos that are stored in your cloud account. Just before we finish with the Photos app, let's check how the backup is going. Yay, the backup is complete, and the photos from your phone are now saved to the cloud. Now, let's return to the Google Photos main page by closing the box. Tap the cross in the top left of the screen. You can also use the cloud and your phone's messaging app, to share photos with friends and family by sending them a link. A link lets you share files that are too large to attach to a message, so it's good for sending multiple photos and videos. Let's look at how to share a few photos via a link now.
From the Google Photos main page, choose a photo to share by tapping and holding your finger on the photo until a blue tick appears in the photo's top left corner. You can now see the other photos have a pale white circle in their top left corner. Tap additional photos to add them to the link you're about to share. A blue tick will appear on those photos too. When you have selected all the photos you want, look at the top of the screen. You'll see the Share icon, which is three circles connected by lines. Tap the Share icon to view the Share panel. This might look different than in our example, and you might have to scroll the panel until you can see an icon labelled Create link. Tap the Create link icon and the Share panel will say that the link is being created. When it is ready, you will see a coloured bar labelled 'Link copied. Share it in an app'. Below this you can see some icons.
You could share the link in an email, but this time we're going to use our phone's Messages app by tapping the Messages icon. Your Contacts list opens, so you can choose who to send the link to. You can search for a specific name or enter a mobile number, but for this demonstration, we'll select a recipient from our Contacts list. A new message appears with the link already copied into the message body. You can add a personal note here too. Make sure to press the space bar first so your note doesn't mess up the link. Tap the Send button to send the link to your friend or family member. When they receive the link, all they have to do it tap on it. Their phone's web browser will open and the photos you've sent will be displayed as a grid, ready to view.
The recipient can only download these photos to their phone if they are also signed in to their own Google Account. If they are signed in, they can tap the Comment icon to respond. They can tap the heart to say they love the photos or leave a comment. Now that you've shared your photos, press the Home button to return to the Home screen and finish this course. Congratulations! You have learned how to back up your photos to the cloud, and share them with friends. When you're ready, you can learn how to use your Windows computer to access the photos you've backed up to the cloud, by watching the Windows desktop or laptop video called "Sharing photos and location with the cloud".