Cloud storage is probably the greatest thing to happen to casual photography since manufacturers started putting decent shooters into smartphones. There’s nothing like snapping a couple of group shots and throwing them up on Google Photos without the hassle of hooking a computer to a phone just to move them over first. The catch is that most of us choose not to sync pictures over cellular, instead waiting to get back within reach of Wi-Fi so our data plans don’t feel too much abuse. However, there are times you still need to back up a few shots right away, and that’s where the latest Google Photos update comes in. We now have an option to manually backup photos and videos on demand.
Manual backup works about the way you would expect. Just long-press to select one or more photos and videos, then tap the overflow menu and look for the “Back up now” option. Tap on it and the upload will begin immediately, even if your automatic backup settings restrict uploads to just Wi-Fi networks.
The command to start a backup can appear in the main feed of photos, but only when the selected items includes at least one that hasn’t been synced with the Google Photos service yet. Strangely, it will always appear on the Device Folders page, even if everything in the selection has been synced.
There are a few uses for a forced backup like this. As previously mentioned, this is a good way to force an upload when a good Wi-Fi connection isn’t readily available. It’s also a convenient option for quickly uploading images that belong in a folder that shouldn’t be synced automatically, like screenshots, downloaded backgrounds, or screen recordings. Since each item must be specifically selected, this means it’s also possible to upload just