Quik using Google photos and resolving app crashes

I love the GoPro Quik mobile application to create video and photo compilations from trips and events.
First I tried downloading all the items from Google Photos to a computer but the desktop version of Quik is nothing like the mobile app so don’t even try it. I then uploaded all the items to the mobile but Quik has a display bug and only showed 40 or so items from the same day and I wasn’t able to select all the required items.
In the end I was able to figure out a workflow that makes it possible to use older and shared photos that aren’t on your device. The functionality is a bit buggy but I was able to find workarounds for everything.
1. Create an album with the photos and videos you would like to use for your compilation. Curate and select just the items you would like to be in your Quik compilation.
2. Optional step: The “+ create a new album” option will not be available if you are using photos added by others. Instead you will want to use the Share button so that a link to your new album is created (make sure to save the link!). The album is not visible in your albums so use the link in a browser and this should open the album in your Google Photos app. Edit the album and give it a name. Also select to “show in albums” to make it visible in your Google Photos albums.
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3. Open the Quik app and select to use Google Photos. Your new album should be listed. You may get errors such as “Google Photos is not available”. If you do, close the Quik app and try again… and again.
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4. Select all photos by ticking all the days. Since you have already curated your items you can just select everything.
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5. Hit the blue arrow and Quik will start downloading everything to your device.
6. The Quik app will then crash continuously when it tries to edit the compilation.
7. Delete the project (Quik will crash again), start a new project and select all items again from the Google Photos album. This time the download will be almost instant and editing of the compilation will work.
8. Once done, export and upload your compilation back to Google Photos so that you can easily share it with friends and also so that you will never lose it if/when you lose your phone
Other tips for Quick:
Select “high quality” to produce 1080p videos that look great on a TV.
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Crop tall videos to include the important areas, for example people’s faces.
Use the focus point option to select what to show in photos
Duplicate any tall photos and use different focal points to show everything in tall photos.
If you have many items in your compilation then modify the duration of the compilation to the maximum of your selected music to have more time on each item.
If a photo that you like just flashes by you can change the duration to longer to see more of the photo (or to shorter if you want to see less of it).
Trim videos and select “manual” to choose what parts of a video you want included. Split the video if you want to show multiple bits from it.
Using “Highlights” can work better on longer action videos
You can mute your video sound if it doesn’t mix well with your selected music
Turn Outro off to remove the Quik logo at the end of your compilation (it gets old quickly).

Enabling new Google photo face and people search in UK, Europe, Germany

gp_logo.pngGoogle Photos was re-launched recently during a slick presentation at Google I/O 2015.
Besides the unlimited storage for 16MP photos and 1080p videos what caught my interest the most was the demo of the face and people search.
The new product was not only able associate photos of the same person, it was also able to do it across a large age span of the person.
google_photos_people_face_searchSome reported examples are “it associated photos of my niece starting with her current age of 6 years and all the way back to 3 months old” and “it was able to discern our twin daughters”.
So imagine my disappointment after upgrading to this latest Google Photos version, backing up my entire photo catalog (30,000+ 16MP photos) and not being able to find the face/people search.
I suspected some European or UK privacy laws being the root cause why Google hasn’t enabled it in the UK and a few searches later my suspicion was confirmed.
Since it seemed to be geographically restricted I was curious to see what would happen if I tried the application from another location.
Virtual Private Networks, a.k.a. VPN, are very handy to make your internet traffic to appear from a different location than you are.
All your traffic is tunneled to an exit point of your choosing, for example a data center in New York City. To Google Photos service you then seem to be located in New York City, USA.
tunnelbear.jpgOne such easy to use VPN service for android is Tunnelbear but there are many others. Tunnelbear offers 500 MB of free traffic and you don’t need much more than 20MB to get this set-up.
It worked, I got face/people search in my Goole Photos android app and this is how I did it:
In summary you want to delete the Google Photos application data and re-start the application while being connected to the VPN. This will trick Google Photos into believing you are located in US and the feature will be switched on.
Once the feature is switched on you don’t have to re-connect to the VPN; the feature will remain on!
Detailed instructions: delete the data from Google Photos, turn on airplane mode, turn off location services, connect via Tunnelbear, start up Google photos, go through the introductory 4 steps, go into settings and turn on “Group Similar Faces”. Success, you now have your photos organised by many, many different people present in them.
The face categorisation appeared as soon as I connected via VPN. There was no initial time for google to build up a face database for my photos.
This really seems to suggest that all photos added to Google Photos are categorised by face. The search feature is just hidden in certain geographical locations to comply with local laws.
Is this really in the spirit of the law or just cheat? You decide!