It all started right around the time Google decided to discontinue Picasa, a fully featured photo library management app, in favor of Google Photos. The concept makes sense and fits with Google's cloud-based, access-your-stuff-everywhere-and-we'll-use-your-information-to-sell-ads model. I took the plunge, even though I was slightly scared, and trusted Google with my precious, decades-old family photo library. We've since seen a parade of apps come and go on both macOS and Windows: the Google Drive client, the now-discontinued Google Photos Backup app (Desktop Uploader), and now the Backup and Sync app from Google, which promises to keep both our Google Drive files as well as our Google Photos backed up and synchronized across all our devices.
|The Google Drive app is now "Backup and Sync" from Google|
Unfortunately, my recent experience with Google Photos and the Google Backup and Sync app has been a nightmare. The Google Backup and Sync app crashes often on macOS, and randomly deletes files and photos from my Google Drive folder. For example, once every couple of weeks, I find my Trash bin on my MacBook full of files from my Google Photos library or my Google Drive that I never deleted (!). I also see notifications from Backup and Sync saying that some of my files have been deleted on the web, or on another device (something I can confirm that I did not do).
|I never deleted "IMG_4246.JPG", yet Google Backup and Sync thinks I did, and asks if I want to delete it on my local machine.|
This brings up another very frustrating thing about Google Photos: you apparently can't search by filename.
|This picture exists in my Google Photos library (IMG_5089.JPG), but cannot be searched by its filename in Google Photos online|
When I search for a filename of a known picture that is clearly in my Google Photos library, I get no results.
|Searching by filename for a picture that exists in your photos library seems pretty basic, but it doesn't work in Google Photos.|
After seeing some of my precious family photos in the trash this week, and not seeing a huge chunk of my synced photos on Google Photos online, I'm now seriously considering switching to another solution completely for backing up my family photo library. I'm considering giving iCloud Photo Library a try, but have been reluctant regarding the reliability of Apple's cloud services. Got any suggestions?