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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Digital Marketing and the Thumb Rules

With evolution of technology, everything is changing and changing so fast that we are unable to keep pace with it. Old traditional ways are taking the news ways to solve its problem through digital technology. ‘Excel is what we breathe in corporate life’ as told by seniors who are placed and working in big companies. Finance is handled by Financial Models and Excel is the best tool for it. HR uses HR Matrices and HR Analytics. I wondered what Marketing would be using? What is the future of Marketing? With a keen interest I started finding it. Luckily after many days of research I found the answers in Digital Marketing Summit 2015 at T-Hub, Hyderabad. So I would now attempt to try to explain what Digital Marketing is all about.

I recently read in a newspaper that, out of total budget of marketing expenditure 60% is allotted to Digital Marketing. I was amazed as there are plenty of companies in India and if it’s the future of Marketing, those who invest time and money here, will all going to be millionaires. In summit a person with amazing voice said something I never heard before. Mr. Nabeel took the topic of Principles of Digital Strategy. Digital strategy?? Is it Facebook, Youtube, Mobile Apps or Pinterest or Website making? These all thoughts invaded my mind. As told by Nabeel, it is not what you see. Let me put in simple words, “A plan to accomplish something with digital tools is Digital Strategy”. Wow, Simple yet powerful. All tools used for Digital Strategy must focus on these areas, Branding, Social Media, Content marketing, Video Production, Email Marketing, Website, Advertising and SEO.  What about principles? So here we go.

First principle as told by Nabeel was, “#1 Know Thyself”. The person must measure Brand’s social footprint that tells us its “presence”. We must also check “influence”- branded message adoption, “Perception”- Measuring emotional reactions, “virality”- People organically participating in conversation through blogs and other mediums and last “Resonance”. If you check on those focus points I think you know yourself.

Second principle “#2 Put your best foot forward”. This focus mostly on Defining voice & tone of the brand, Coming up with a compelling content strategy and Creation of targeted content. Content can be either curated or created.

Third principle “#3 Know your customer”. We really think we know our customer and it would too easy but this is the most crucial area to focus upon. Can you think of first customer who will buy your products and services? If you can name it, I think you are on the way. It becomes nowadays very important which need of your customer you are addressing. Brainstorming, market research and different tools will enable you to know who your customer is.

Forth principle “# 4 Actively Engage”. Engaging must done with dialogues and not monologues. Nabeel gave very good examples for this. Recently a post went viral that said Mr. Narendra Modi replied to a him on twitter. The guy expressed his excitement of getting the reply from PM of India. Another Engaging strategy would be story telling format. Best and effective tool as it creates an emotional bonding. But one must always focus ‘sort of emotions should story evoke’. Lastly ‘Story must incite some action’.

After listening to him I thought it was fascinating to work in a Digital Marketing firm. But all new technologies comes with challenges too. First challenge that one would face is there is “abundant choice” in the marketing. You need to gear up and give your best shot. Big players won’t give you much time to correct it, so doing it correctly the first time itself is the challenge. Second Challenge faced by people working in digital marketing is “scarce attention”. “As a marketing guy you need to be heard”, once our faculty told us in lecture. Hence getting attention in the vast pool of internet is itself a challenge.

Really this is the future. Future of Marketing. There will be a time when you will see that every person in the world will be going digital. Every Person in the world has his/her own website. The world would be on a very different note to what we see today!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Interview with Dr Neeta Gulati

Dr Neeta Gulati, CEO at Itnurture Den, sat down for an hour on December. 16 to talk about her experience in the field of Information technology with Our editorial member Vaibhav. Here are the edited excerpts.

Q: You have a lot of experience, good academic background and certifications like six sigma black belt. What are your thoughts about the next generation? What are they missing? Is it the skills or the grades that matter?

A. According to recent intake scenarios, recruiters’ focus is more on skills rather than grades. More than 70% of the students in Graduation and Post Graduation lack presentation skills. Students should learn an important trait to talk their way through. If you look at Silicon Valley its not their idea that shines. It’s the way they market themselves, is where the difference lies. I’m not suggesting Grades are unimportant. Grades are the ones that open the first door for you but don’t expect Grades open the every door or obstacle you face in life. Skills, practical knowledge and Attitude do that.

Q: For an MBA student what according to you are the 5 most important qualities to possess for placement or career in general?

A. It is very difficult to make a list of skills that interviewers essentially look in potential candidates. Most important skills according to me are:
  • First is Presentation — how you present yourself. Working on this area can help you a lot. As I have said before presentation is what defines a vision for your idea.
  • Second is focus on Body Language, best thing is to smile.
  • Thirdly, know about your weakness & what you are doing about it. Also know about your strength and display it.
  • Forth is focus on interaction, the way you interact in an interview plays a major role in your selection. 
  • Fifth is to Stay Calm, Practice deep breaths for achieving it. 

Q: You have worked in Capgemini and IBM. How was your experience? How are both the organizations different in terms of use of technology?

A. IBM is a known brand and is a big company. It is everywhere. IBM is the company that makes many tools that software organizations use these days. On the other hand companies like Capgemini are growing companies and often uses IBM tools and services. They work for IBM and in return they get trained by IBM. Regarding organizational culture, IBM has an open culture and people are allowed to work from home.

Q: In our campus, placement and internship season is on. Many of the students are confused whether to join a startup or go for a well-established organisation. How should we go about it?

A. It depends on the person and his needs. Big companies have a brand name with them and give a sense of security. People may have a satisfaction that they are working for a big organisation. But when it comes to learning, what a startup can give you in 2 years can't be achieved even after 5 years if you work in a big company. What I suggest is to work for a startup for some time and then switch to a big organisation. 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Social Networks and the Echo Chamber

Social Networking which never existed 10 years ago has seen the penetration faster than any other service in the world. While there are many advantages to it, let's for a minute be cynical and look at what it does to our cognitive thinking.

It is human tendency to seek out information that validates our view. So we actively look for people whose views match ours. We Selectively read online columns or newspaper articles that appeal to our thinking. We watch youtube videos or television channels that agree with our views. We read opinion pieces and editorials in newspapers and magazines that coincide with our view. This puts us into an “echo chamber” where similar views are repeated and reinforced. The contrary views are brushed aside as frivolous or biased. 

While this might sound bad enough, modern-day social media algorithms has made it worse. All the algorithms facebook or any social network for that matter suggest the pages and ads that we might want to see or might want to like or might want to open. Nobody shows us the reality! Our Facebook feed is filtered based on previous likes. Flipkart suggests items on our pattern of previous purchases. Twitter suggests whose tweets we should follow bases on those we are already following. Social Networks are ensuring that we are fed with more of the same to the point where our brains start confusing opinions for facts. 

There is a debate whether this urge for constant reinforcement makes us more intolerant as a society. That’s a question best left for sociologists and psychologists to answer but this Echo chamber is catastrophic for a business world moving forward.

Before discovery of Australia people were convinced that all Swans are white. It is because they didn’t find a single swan which is black. This is a view based on empirical evidence. But immediately after they found a contrary view that black Swans do exist, they changed their view. But unfortunately we are doing quite the opposite. We first form a view and then look for evidence that endorses our view. That’s the reason we should have a clear line of difference between opinions and facts.

Even in organisations, it often happens that managers like “yes men.” This is called confirmation bias. Many leaders seek out and take opinions of people who say what the Manager wants to listen but not what is right. They might be right sometimes but when something goes wrong, they will not be able to recognise what went wrong while the data that is sought is completely biased. Research essentially decreases uncertainty in the decisions that a Manager has to take but the person that takes that decision should be unbiased in collecting the data instead of being caught up in an “Echo Chamber.”

A philosopher named Karl Popper famously said “The only way of testing a hypothesis is to form a view and to spend the rest of the day looking for evidence that proves you are wrong, a process known as falsification. Good decision-makers should consciously seek out diverse views that challenge their existing opinions.” This sums up what decision making is all about. 

That’s the reason, beware of Echo Chamber!

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of DOT as a whole.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Li-Fi - The next big thing to look out for?

Li-fi (Light Fidelity) is being seen as the next paradigm shift in the field of wireless networks. While there are many upsides of replacing Wi-fi with Li-fi, our technology is not ripe yet. In this blog post we look at what Li-fi is, its upsides and downsides.

What’s Li-fi?

We love internet and the way we access internet these days is Wi-fi. (Wireless Fidelity) Wi-fi uses radio waves which has a smaller spectrum compared to Light or Visible spectrum. Without going into technicalities, I would try to explain what spectrum is and what advantage we get using a larger spectrum which is light spectrum.

Before that let’s first see how Wireless networks work. All the data is digital and is in the form of 1s and 0s. Now let’s take a crude example. Let’s say that if the frequency is low, it is represented as 0 and if frequency is high, it is represented as 1. So, using two levels of frequency, we can send one bit at a time. Now let’s say, we can communicate 4 different  levels of frequencies. Let’s name them low, medium, high and very high. Now these 4 levels of frequencies can represent 00,01,10 and 11 bits. On the whole, you now are able to send 2 bits at a time. Now lets say, you are able to send 8 levels of frequencies. So, you can send three bits at a time. (000, 001, 010, 011, 100, 101, 110, 111) So speed of the network depends on how many levels of frequencies you can communicate at a time. 

No of bits you can send at a time=  log(No of levels of frequencies you can send)

Though theoretically, you can communicate unlimited levels of frequency at a time but for the receiver to be able to discern between several frequency levels after the addition of noise, you can only communicate limited levels of frequencies. (ie., you can send 2.3 Mhz signal, 2.31 Mhz, 2.311 Mhz, 2.3111 Mhz, etc.. but for receiver to discern these frequencies you cannot just send whichever level you want.)

Here comes the difference between Wi-fi and Li-fi. Wi-fi is based on radio waves and the bandwidth (Roughly speaking, bandwidth is the difference between highest and lowest level of frequencies) of radio waves is much lower than visible light on which Li-fi is based on. So higher the bandwidth, high are the no of frequency levels you can transmit. So high are the no of frequency levels, high are the no of bits you can send at a time. Therefore, high are the no of bits you can send at a time, faster is the network. So, achieving 1Gbps has been an easy task for Li-fi.

How does the Li-fi Work?

We have modems in our home which transmit wi-fi signals for use. In Li-fi, we use the lights to transmit Li-fi signals. So as explained above in a crude way, if light is on it is 1 and if light is off it is 0. So if light is able to glow in different brightness levels, we can send many bits at a time. Normal lights will not be able to do it. So we use LEDs in place of normal incandescent lights for two advantages: 

1) LEDs can glow in different brightness levels.
2) They can switch to these different levels very fast.

All our mobiles have an ambient light sensor on top of the screen, generally near the ear speaker to detect the ambient light conditions and change the brightness of the screen accordingly. A similar sensor but a much more sensitive one will be placed in the receivers to receive this Li-fi signals. This is how Li-fi works

Now many people are jumping on it as the next paradigm shift in internet communications but it should be taken with a pinch of salt. Here are some reasons why we are many years away from seeing Li-fi replacing Wi-fi.

1) It is true that Li-fi gives you 1Gbps of speed, but is there a optical fibre network (which is an input to Li-fi modem which is LED light) that provides you 1Gbps of speed? Our current modems, based on technology they are operating on can give upto 400-700 Mbps but current optical fiber links are unable to catch up with even that speed. So what's the need to jump to even more powerful modems? Its like having a larger tap connected to a narrow pipe.

"Its like having a larger tap connected to a narrow pipe."

2) Downlink is okay but to transmit data from your device to the router, you still need to use Wi-fi or infrared unless you install an LED light on your mobile or laptop to transmit data in the same way as Li-fi does.

3) Li-fi cannot work in bright sunlight for the fact that sunlight dominates any LED light.

4) Li-fi cannot be used in different rooms across a home because light cannot traverse through the walls which is essential for Li-fi to work.

5)Light should be on all the times. Though the scientist behind Li-fi, Mr. Harald Haas explained that light's brightness can be brought down so much that a naked eye can't determine whether the light is on or off and can still send the data, it has to be proven yet.

So before you jump into Li-fi bandwagon, remember that there are still some limitations left unanswered!

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of DOT as a whole.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Customer Loyalty: The Ultimate Brand Clash Weapon

As usual, this Wednesday the 'Economic Times' was delivered at my doorstep and as a habit, I was ready to throw it up on my bed to read it at the later half of the day as I was getting late for my class. But what caught my eyes was the much awaited, recently published MOST TRUSTED BRANDS list of Brand Equity (BE). This list deciphers the TOP 100 most trusted brands in India. Colgate once again became the unassailable brand leader for straight fourth year. The research was conducted by Nielsen along with BE with a design sample distributed across socio-economic classifications, age, income and geography.

The study was carried out at the following 12 cities:
Delhi, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Patna, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Indore, Chennai, Bengaluru, Vijayawada.

The respondent profile were categorised as:

1. Chief Wage Earner(CWE)-The person who makes the highest contribution towards
    Household upkeep.
2. HouseWife (HW)-Any married female and unemployed
3. Youth-15-25 years old and not CWE/HW

4. OLDER- 26-60 years old  and not CWE/HW

Keeping track of its brand relationship is indeed the toughest task because one day the sky is clear blue and the next day it is hail-storm. We can easily relate it to the case of our beloved 2-minute noodle ‘Maggi’. The beloved brand that brings up all childhood, college, hostel and travel memories had entered the Top-5 list of ‘Most Trusted Brands’ 2014.The party wasn’t over yet, when the MSG got the best off it. It slipped down toweringly to 95th position. Eventually, it turned out that ‘meri Maggi’ is safe and its Swiss mother Nestle is targeting the kitchen head of the household-the mother in-order to win back the ‘healthy’ faith every mother puts in a bowl of Maggi before serving it to her child. It is also trying to grab back its position through the much popular ‘#WeMissYouToo’ campaign. We can simply wait and watch whether it will script a Bollywood blockbuster and regain its top position or painfully crawl up the ladder.

It is not all about calamitous falls. Tata salt has risen to no.2 from 16 last year. The most popular ‘Desh ka namak’ focused on the nuts and bolts like merchandising norms, standardized POPs display windows at key outlets, etc.  all of  which has helped it to remain at the top.

Reckitt Benckiser’s, Dettol was voted as the 4th most trusted brand. Dove strategy to keep it real has also rewarded it as it bagged the 4th place compared tono.30 last year.

The most expected yet most dramatic setback is of the e-commerce brands, even a single one of them failed to gain a position. It was apparently proven that to gain customer loyalty and trust, it takes a hell lot than ‘BIG’ sales and bigger as budgets.

Some notified entries are that of the ‘mineral water’ brands and the grand entry of Idea Telco who has travelled a massive 131 spots up the ladder to no.43 to inch closer to its rivals Vodafone and Airtel.

Some other notable position holders are:
  • Vim topped the list in ’househlod care’.
  • Big Bazaar is the winner of the ‘Retailers’ category.
  • Pizza Hut topped the ‘Food Services‘ list.
  • Aquaguard bagged the trust in the ‘water purifier’section.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of DOT as a whole.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Happy 30th Anniversary Windows.

Last Friday marks 30 years of existence for Microsoft Windows. Microsoft is the first software company. Bill Gates envisioned long ago how a software company should be like before anyone knew what software actually is. Microsoft has been the face of computing for many long years and it still is in a very tangible way. There are many ups and downs for a huge company as Microsoft. While the former clearly dominated the latter, it wasn’t always a cakewalk for Microsoft to protect its identity. Software is funny. You clearly dominate the industry, become myopic and then you are irrelevant. We have seen recently this week on how Rdio filed for bankruptcy after being a super hit just 4 years ago. Similarly we have seen many instances in the past where companies faltered not knowing where their next bet should be and going bankrupt.

This was Microsoft's first logo

Microsoft was started in 1974 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in 1975. When Paul saw the future in Altair 8800 (A Micro processor) he persuaded Bill Gates that the time was ripe and they have to jump into the world of programming. Then Bill Gates and Paul Allen somehow convinced Altair manufacturers and started to write programming immediately. After spending many sleepless nights, they finally were succeeded in delivering the program. 


These were the days of IBM Personal computers which took public by storm. Microsoft wrote the program of MS DOS for IBM. The biggest mistake IBM did was allowing Microsoft to retain the licensing rights on MS DOS. When Bill Gates and his team at Microsoft were developing MS DOS for IBM, they were not at all confident of getting the licensing rights as IBM being market leader was ruthless. But the management of IBM thought that nobody in the industry could replicate their success in hardware manufacturing and thought that they will remain market leaders in the foreseeable future. Bill Gates from the inception is a software guy. He when came to know that the management of IBM is not at all interested in retaining the licensing of MS DOS, he was shocked and said to his close friends how big this mistake is and also added that IBM is going to repent on this Historical mistake. He was right. Many manufacturers came around figuring how to do hardware and started to approach Microsoft for the software. Microsoft suddenly replaced IBM as face of computing.

Microsoft also licensed their ‘Basic’ programming for Macintosh and wrote office software for Mac. Bill Gates worked closely with Steve Jobs in creating Macintosh’s software. Bill Gates was a little apprehensive on Mac’s success as he thought the Macintosh that was launched in 1984 was way ahead of its times and may not succeed. Turns out, he was right and Macintosh’s failure lead Steve Jobs step out of the company. But people started to look at Macintosh’s GUI as a game changer. 

Then the whole industry started to believe that Graphical User Interface is the future of the computing and the huge debate of Text based interface vs Graphics based interface soon turned into a intuitive common sense. It is clear - GUI is the future.


Windows came up with Windows 95 and it was the first windows operating system that supported GUI and it became an instant hit. Apple immediately filed a lawsuit that Microsoft copied their Macintosh’s interface and the competition became intense. Microsoft finally relented and agreed to purchase $350 million worth Apple shares in ‘out of court’ settlement when Steve Jobs returned to Apple. While Apple pursued an integrated approach from the start where Hardware, Software and Services are provided by a single company, Bill Gates’ vision was different. He thought consumer should be given a choice of different hardware manufacturers and he pursued an open approach where different components are designed by different companies. In hindsight, we have to say that the industry immensely benefitted from Microsoft’s open systems approach. Competition intensified among the manufacturers which turned into a Zero sum game which triggered price wars. In the end, consumer benefitted. 

Microsofts push to Enterprise is also a commendable effort suited to its open approach. Microsoft allowed OS customisation and tweaking according to the needs of the enterprises and they came up with a server operating system that was and still is immensely popular. Even food chains like KFC use Microsoft’s enterprise Operating system. Here instead of whole Operating system a lite version of Windows is deployed on a low cost hardware that saved lot of costs and was easier to use. 


Many say that this decade is a ‘lost decade’ for Microsoft. Steve Ballmer when took over Microsoft, it is a giant. Microsoft lost focus and ventured into many irrelevant spaces in the fear of being Myopic. They ventured into robotics, phones without a vision and did many irrelevant innovations that didn’t help its desktop operating system in any sort. In 2004 they debuted a Windows based tablet which is a complete failure. Windows Vista’s failure didn’t help Microsoft. On the other hand Apple and Google are driving ahead leaving Microsoft behind. In a desperate attempt to attract attention, Microsoft even ventured in to search space through Bing. The abbreviation of Bing is ‘Bing is not Google.’ If you name your product after your competitor, it says how terrified and desperate you are. After losing ground to Apple and Google on mobile front and Amazon on server front, Microsoft really need a restructuring. 


Steve Ballmer was sacked as CEO by the board and Satya Nadella who overlooked Enterprise Mobility division and cloud platform Azure was made the CEO. Satya Nadella when made the CEO stressed the importance of Mobile first approach and started conscious efforts to bring back Microsoft as an enterprise leader. 

Its too early to judge Satya Nadella as a CEO but innovations of Microsoft recently on Surface tablets, Surface books, Windows Mobile, Azure, Microsoft Band, Xbox, Holo lens, and Windows 10 looks promising. Satya has a clear head unlike the chaotic personality that represents Steve Ballmer. Hope he delivers on the duties bestowed upon him. Below is a video explaining his vision for Microsoft after a recent product launch.

Microsoft indeed brought us a long way. Let’s hope Microsoft takes us to even more heights we could never have imagined. Happy 30th Anniversary Windows!

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of DOT as a whole.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Google Services - A Faustian Bargain?

Faust is the protagonist of classic German legend. He is a scholar who is highly successful yet dissatisfied with his life. This leads him to make a pact with the Devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Now the reason I brought this up is that while all the Users are Faust s in their souls, the question that whether users are always in a bargain with Google always ponders me.

Google has always been the go to company for many services we use today. Some might be surprised on how much google knows about us. Google has got the upper hand over Apple in the services it is in because Google was able to read more of your data and provide you many contextual services. Google now, for example is a service which provides contextual cards. When there is a reservation made, be it flight, movie, or a bus, Google automatically reads your mail, looks for the details in the ticket and serves you the contextual cards telling you the time to start based on your current location and traffic conditions to your destination. Now for this to happen, Google has to read your mails, strip the vital information of your location, destination, time and date of the travel. Only then will it be able to serve the cards. For an user, it doesn’t matter what information Google is gathering as long as these services entice them.

But the inevitable question that arises is what else Google is doing with this data. If you think that Google collects data just to provide contextual services, you are terribly wrong. After Google does this, it sells that data to advertisers. Advertisers in turn use this data to serve you contextual ads. Google is doing this through its service called adsense suite. Google assigns a random ID to all the data and uses that data to serve you contextual ads. While the identity of the person can’t be known, the service reading your mails and analysing your location data sounds a little creepy. Android users can open this link and can see their location history. Open this link and you can get all the searches you made at Google. Google not just tracks you, it even sells this data to other companies. 

Many Apple users face the heat from their friends who are Android users on how cool Google services are but they never realise that Google steals gobs of data from them. Apple recently through its software update iOS 9 brought the capability of converting mails into calendar events. While Google fanboys proclaim the feature to be available for them for two years, the thing they never understand is that, while Google’s approach makes the server read your mail and create calendar event for you, Apple’s approach makes the iPhone do that for you without a byte of data moving out of your phone. A rational person would understand how different the two approaches are and why Apple takes so much time to bring out these features and execute them just right.

Down below is a screenshot of famous game 'subway surfers.' Now as you can see, it collects the information like, Device & app history (Allows the app to view one or more of: information about activity on the device, which apps are running, browsing history and bookmarks), Device ID and call information, etc.. Now here’s a trivial game that can read the apps that are present in your phone, apps which are running in the phone, browsing history on your phone and bookmarks present in your phone. Now what do you think the developer of the app does collecting the information? They sell it to third party, makes money and doesn’t care what the third party does making you vulnerable. 

Now, Apple never allows this to happen. That is the reason you find many apps in iPhone less functional than their Android counterparts for a simple reason that Apple never gives such sensitive information away. This is one of the two reasons why you find many Android apps being free while Apple charging premium for the fact that Android developers can collect your data, sell it and make revenues. The other reason being many pirated versions available and the ability to side load them in Android. But in Apple, you can download the apps only from the Appstore unless the device is jailbroken. 

For Apple, customer is the king while for Google, customer's data is the king. I know that this post started from being a critique of Google services has ended being a comparison between the approaches of Android and Apple, but the point I was trying to make is that choice is subjective. People who are very sensitive and critical about where their data is going might want to depend on Apple and people who don’t care where their data is ending up as far as they are enticed with the contextual services of Google might want to stay with Google. 

So while entering into Google services, beware that you are entering into a faustian bargain. Only time will tell whether Google is a devil or it isn’t!

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of DOT as a whole.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Google Photos - The Complete Photo Backup Solution.

It is no secret that people love photos. It is estimated that over 200,000 photos make their way to Facebook alone every minute. Add instagram to that tally and add thousands of photos that are taken but do not make their way to the internet, we can say that millions of photos are taken per day. Photos are beautiful memories captured into digital bits that are stored for retrieval whenever you want. Photos are a very important part of our lives. While there are many online solutions available for backing up your photos, only 25% of all smartphone users use backup solutions to secure their photos forever. 

Not backing up those valuable memories is living dangerously because the moment you lose your phone or if your hard disk gets corrupted, all you are left with is an immense grief and remorse. So we in this blog look at the best solution to back up your photos which is Google Photos.

There are many photo backup solutions available like dropbox, box, flickr, One drive, etc.. Every app that is listed above have their respective apps available on iOS, Android and Windows. They all do the basic stuff a backup app is supposed to do - They automatically grab your photos from your phone or PC, upload them in the cloud and make those photos available everywhere and on every device you want. But the app that we are going to discuss - Google Photos goes many steps ahead in organising your photos in a fantastic way. It has been around for a while but a slew of new updates make this app even more interesting.   

Installing Google photos is easy. Go to your respective appstore (App store on iPhone, Play Store on Android, Hard luck Windows users) and download the app. Once you download the app, there are some pages of settings to select your account, your sync preference (Whether you want to sync only on wifi or to allow mobile network), folders on your device to backup (I deselected my whatsapp folder for obvious reasons) etc.. You also have a page to select your photo size, whether you want unlimited storage with a reduced quality or whether you want to link to your Google account which has a capacity of 15 GB. Here what it means is that, if you select unlimited storage, you can backup as many photos or you want but they are descaled if the image is above above 16 Megapixels. As many of our phones have cameras well below that, selecting option of unlimited photos is preferred. In my testing I found the images to be as clear as the original ones. 

After installing and setting up the folders to backup, the app takes time (based on the no of images and videos) to upload all the photos that are present in your phone. Once the backup is done and the sync settings are on, the app uploads newly taken photos automatically, They are not shared until you want them to be shared. Now that photos in your phone are all uploaded, you might want to upload the photos in your desktop as well to the cloud so that you don’t fear of loosing the photos in the future. Google photos thankfully got you covered. Go to and download the app “Desktop Uploader” based on your operating system. The app currently supports Windows, Mac and Chrome OS. Once you download the app and select the folders in your computer where your photo collection lies, the app automatically uploads all the photos.

Uploading all the photos present on your phone and computer and offering unlimited storage makes this app best in class but the magic of the app unveils once the photos are uploaded:

Grouping the photos

Open the app and tap the search button present in the bottom right corner of your phone and what appears in front of you is pure magic. The app automatically groups your photos based on:


The app automatically groups photos of same people together and shows you a face. Once you tap the face, it gives an option to label the name. Enter the name and the photos of him/her are instantly searchable from then on. Tap your friends’s name in search bar and instantly all the photos of him/her will be visible grouped together. 


The app also automatically groups photos based on the places you took them. If you have already switched on GeoTagging in your camera settings, the app automatically shows different places you took the photos.


Google took machine learning to the next level and their strides in Artificial intelligence is clearly evident from this feature. Under ‘things' all the photos of yours are automatically classified into various attributes like Cars, Sky, Flowers, Food, Dancing, Beaches, Dogs, Cats, Birthdays, Mountains, Fog, Temples, Airplanes, etc.. based on the things and places you took the photos. The coolest part is you don’t even do a single thing to label them. They all are done automatically. It even grabbed all my graduation function’s pics and grouped them all together based on those caps and appearances. This is really cool and you have to see to believe it.


It also groups photos based on type of media like videos, panoramas and still photographs.


I recently visited my friend’s place, took some photos there and came back to my place. The app automatically grouped all the photos in a cool album view and named that album as “Trip to Pune.” A feature in the app called Assistant showed this album to me prompting me to save or discard the album. Assistant also shows the photos that are taken on the same day over the previous years. Another handy feature of assistant is that it automatically creates animations from a group of immediately taken photos or burst shoots and presents them in some fantastic views.


Once all the photos are uploaded, google takes some time to analyse the photos and group them together. Now look for the faces and label the faces. After this step is done, you can use queries such as: "Me at Graduation," "Me with my mom and dad," (Here of course, you have to label the face of your parents as "Mom" and "Dad." Only then will it understand who they are.) "Me with brother at airport," "photos of temples," "photos of airplanes," etc.. Once you label the faces, the search feature is just magical.


Sharing in this app is even amazing. You can select multiple photos with a nice quick gesture and share them through service like whatsapp, facebook, mail, etc. In addition to that you also get an option to get a shareable link. i.e., once you select some photos and tap “Get Link,” it automatically creates a link and copies to your clipboard. You can send that link to anyone you want. Now once your friend opens that link on his phone, he has an option on the top right to save those photos into his account. Now with just a tap, all the photos you share with him will now be on his collection as well. 

The best part of this app is that it works across all the Computers, Mobiles and Tablets seamlessly irrespective of the operating systems. So through Google photos, what you get is a great unlimited service, a great photo organiser and a cool search feature that makes the photos instantly searchable. Therefore the hunt for a great photo backup solution ends here. Period. Exclamation.