Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Coolest Tips in June 2015

One Cool Tip.com
It's been a busy month of June with the relaunch of www.OneCoolTip.com.

What have been the coolest tips in June 2015?

NASA Ring Tones Just Launched
This popular tip from 2008 zoomed to the top of June's list with thousands of views.  Who knew that NASA's sound files were so popular.  Learn how to use many famous sounds as ring tones for your mobile phone.

How Do I Get Windows 10 for Free?
The newest version of Windows is coming.  For many PC users, it can be a free upgrade.  Learn how you can get your free version.

Blocking Calls on Your Smart Phone
Ring Ring Ring.  Learn how you can block annoying calls to your mobile phone.

Snapseed: Google's Best Photo App You Don't Know About
Learn how Google's Snapseed app is the best mobile photo editor.

How to Restart Your iPhone or iPad
Learn how you can restart your iPhone or iPad for better performance or to recover when it is frozen.


One Cool Tip.com
Cool Tips for a Cooler Life!

#NASA #Windows 10 #iPhone #Android #Snapseed

How to Turn Off or On Emergency Alerts on Your Phone

Wireless Emergency Alerts
Why is my phone making a weird siren alert?

Because many Americans no longer get their news from their living room television.

The modern version of American television's Emergency Broadcasting System is the Wireless Emergency Alerts phone on newer smart phones.

The wireless alerts are designed to notify mobile phone users about local emergencies, such as kidnappings (Amber Alerts), severe weather and even national emergencies from the office of the US President.

Alerts are localized by geography so you'll only receive notifications from the authorities based upon where your phone is located.  However, roll out of the service has not been perfect.  There have been cases where phones noisily alerted phone users in the middle of the night for child kidnappings hours after the child had been found safe.  Fortunately, the system has gotten better as authorities have learned how to coordinate and time the alerts.

But as a phone user, you can also turn off the Amber and Emergency Alerts.    Or chaeck that the alerts are enabled.  There's no way to disable a presidential alert.  

To enable or disable emergency alerts in Android, go to Settings then click the More option in Wireless & Networks.  Then scroll to Cell Broadcasts to enable or disable alerts.  Android is fickle so you may find settings in a different location based upon the version and the phone carriers implementation. 

iOS (iPhone and iPad) 
Alerts can be changed by going to Settings, then Notifications.  At the bottom are two settings under Government Alerts, Amber Alerts and Emergency Alerts which can be enabled or disabled.

More information on Emergency Alerts is available from FEMA at http://www.ready.gov/alerts

#iPhone #Android #EmergencyAlert


Monday, June 29, 2015

The Single Best Tip To Take Better Videos With Your Smart Phone

Do you take videos with your smart phone? You might be doing it wrong. And by wrong, I mean you are holding your phone wrong.

Grand Canyon Video Screenshot in Portrait Mode on MonitorThe single best tip for taking better videos is to always take your videos in landscape mode.

Put down that selfie stick.  You might have to use two hands to take a video.

But it will be worth it.

Taking videos in portrait mode (vertical) will leave black bars on each side of the image when the video is played on a PC monitor of a high def TV screen.

Landscape (or horizontal) videos will fill your monitors and TV screens correctly.

Grand Canyon Horizontal Video
So always, always, always, take videos in landscape mode.


#video #iPhone #Android #horizontal #landscape #portrait


Sunday, June 28, 2015

ICYMI: Cloud Storage, Mobile Photo Editor, NASA Images, Blocking Calls, "Unsend" from Gmail, Group Chat

ICYMI - In Case You Missed It
Did you catch all of the cool tips this week?

We covered a wide range of cool topics including the best cloud storage, the best photo editor for your smart phone, a new NASA image gallery, how to block annoying calls to your mobile phone, Gmail's new "Undo" feature and finally the best group chat app that works across difference devices and platforms.

In Case You Missed It:

Learn how you can store documents so you can access them from multiple devices with Dropbox and cloud storage.

Learn how Google's Snapseed app is the best mobile photo editor.

Visit and search the new NASA image gallery with over 138,000 photos from 70 collections.

Learn how you can block annoying calls to your mobile phone.

Learn how you can enable Gmail's new "Unsend" option to unsend an email.

Discover which group chat app is the best service to use to connect your friends and family.

Finally, One Cool Tip is now on Facebook.  Check it out at https://www.facebook.com/onecooltip
be sure to like and share the page with your Facebook friends!


One Cool Tip.com
Cool Tips for a Cooler Life!

#callblocking #cloud #dropbox #facebook #gmail #ICYMI #messenger #NASA #Snapseed #unsend

Saturday, June 27, 2015

One Chat App to Rule Them All

Facebook Messenger Icon
Are all of your family and friends on the same group chat application?

The answer is probably no.

Even before AOL's Instant Messenger service, chat applications have been fragmented with various services and device reluctant to communicate with one another gather a large enough userbase to be useful.

Perhaps today's worse offender is Apple's iOS iMessage app which works with other Apple devices and thus all other mobile devices only via cellular text messaging.  That leaves Android phones and tablets out of the conversation.

So what's the answer?

Facebook Messenger app screenshot
There are a number of apps trying to solve this problem.  Snapchat, WhatsApp, GroupMe, Skype, and Google Hangouts are just a few of the apps trying to be "the next big thing" in group chat.

But Facebook Messenger is the clear winner.  At least for now.

It has a large built-in user base, great features and can be accessed from multiple platforms:
Some of the key features include:
  • Make audio and video calls to other Messenger users
  • Know when people see your text
  • Make High Def phone calls to other users worldwide
  • Snap photos and shoot video
  • Record voice messages
  • Chat with your favorite groups of other users
Facebook announced this week that Messenger will no longer require a Facebook account to use.
That helps adoption by users who may not want to have a Facebook account.

Group chat is a rapidly growing market for the mobile world.  Facebook has with a winning chat strategy for both mobile and desktop users.


#chat #facebook #messenger #Android #iPhone #Windowsphone

Friday, June 26, 2015

You Can Now "Unsend" an Email from Gmail

Google Gmail Logo
Did you just send an email in anger?
Did you just send the wrong message to your boss?
Did you get your girlfriend and your wife's email mixed up?  Only kidding.

Google can help you solve these modern first-world problems with a new feature available to all users in Google's Gmail service.

Google announced this week that an "Undo Send" option has become part of the official product.  It had been in testing as part of Gmail's Lab options.

When enabled, you have between 5-30 seconds to "unsend" the message.

Here's how to enable this feature and use it in Gmail:
  • Log into your Gmail account.
  • Click the "gear" Setting icon in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Select "Settings".
  • Select "general" tab if not already.
  • About half-way down, look for the "Undo Send" option.  
  • Click the check box to "Enable Undo Send".
  • Click the dropdown box to choose 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds.
  • Scroll tot he bottom of the page and click the "Save Changes" button.
When you next send an email, a message will appear that says "Your message has been sent.  Undo.".  Click the Undo option to unsend the message.  Your message will not be sent.  You can edit or close the message and return it to your draft folder.

That's it!  Save yourself some grief by turn this new feature on.


One Cool Tip.com
Cool Tips for a Cooler Life!

#email #gmail #google #unsend

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Blocking Calls on Your Smart Phone

Do Not Call Phone Registry
A major annoyance to almost everyone is unwanted telemarketing calls.  Sometimes they are for alarm systems, vacation property or home repairs.  Other times they are from legitimate charities seeking donations.  But they always seem to come at the wrong time.  Is there ever really a good time?

There are a couple of options to minimizing unwanted calls:

  1. Register your phone number with the national Do Not Call Registry from the FCC - Federal Communications Commission (https://www.donotcall.gov/).  Legitimate marketers will cease calling your number usually 31 days after registration.
  2. Check if your state also has a Do Not Call registry.  For example, Missouri residents can register phone numbers with the state of Missouri at https://ago.mo.gov/divisions/consumer/no-call  To find out if your state has a list too, Google your state name and Do Not Call registry.
  3. Create a Contact - For callers you know but may not want to answer, for example, a fundraising call from a local charity you support.  Once you have received a call from their number, add a contact entry in your phone's contact list.  That way, when the call comes in, you'll see the call listed by the name and can decide if you want to answer the call,
To block a specific number from ringing on your smart phone, use these following instructions.

To block specific phone numbers, you can do it two ways:
  1. If you've a received a call from a telemarketer, select the Phone app and then select the Recent call list.  To the right of the phone number you want to block, select the i within a circle icon that is to the right of the number.  Scroll up if needed and there'll be an option to "Block this Caller".  That number will now be blocked on this phone.
  2. If the number you want belongs to a contact on your phone, go to Settings > Phone > Blocked.  Scroll to the bottom if needed and choose "Add New" to select the contact you wish to block.
To block specific phone numbers, you can do it two ways:
  1. From the call log, select the number you want to block by selecting the 3-dot menu in the upper right-hand corner and select "Add to reject list".  This will block future calls from this number.
  2. For a specific number, go to Phone app > Call Rejection > Auto Reject List.  Enter the exact number to block.
Note: Android devices can be inconsistent on this feature and it may not be as simple as these instructions.

If you should inadvertently answer a telemarketing call, remember to be nice.  It's someone's mother or brother trying to make a living.  But be firm and request they remove you from their call list.  And need be, you can block their number.



Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Visit One Cool Tip.com on Facebook

One Cool Tip.com Facebook Page

One Cool Tip.com is now on Facebook.

Be sure to "Like" the page and get your cool tips from within Facebook.

All of your favorite tips on Google, iPhone, Android, Microsoft, mobile apps and more are available from the new Facebook site.

Be sure to share your favorite One Cool Tips with your Facebook friends!

Of course, the main website will still be available at http://www.onecooltip.com

One Cool Tip.com
Daily Tips for a Cooler Life!

NASA Launches New Image Gallery

NASA has launched a new searchable gallery of images available HERE.  It's really out of this world!

The new site is a collection of over 138,000 images from 70 galleries and allows for improved searching capabilities.  And all of this is, of course, free.

Astronaut in space
This treasure trove of photos spans years of NASA photos.

Collections include the Ames Image Gallery, Goddard Image gallery, NASA Human Space Flight Collection, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Collection, NASA Image of the Day Gallery and multiple Space Shuttle Flight Collections.

The new search capabilities bring iconic photos to users within seconds.

This new site is in addition to NASA's main image gallery available HERE

NASA sound and ringtone files are also available.  I've reviewed this popular resource here at OneCoolTip.  Learn more HERE.



One Cool Tip.com
Daily Tips for a Cooler Life!

#NASA #images #space

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Snapseed - Google's Best Photo App You Don't Know About

Google Snapseed App Icon
With the rapid use of smart phones, millions of people around the world now take photos every day.  With newer phones capable of greater quality photos, users can take near-professional photos on their phone cameras. Many professionals even take their professional photos on mobile devices.  But not every photo is picture-quality and ready to share.

So how can you make edits to you photos without exporting them to a PC?  Fortunately, most phones offer some built-in editing capabilities, like cropping and auto-tune. And there are dozens of great photo editing apps in the iTunes and Google Play stores.

But which one is best?

Google has a hidden gem of a photo editor you probably haven't heard about.  Acquired during the acquisition of Nik, Google released an update to its Snapseed mobile photo editing software this year.

This app should be your main photo editor on your phone. It's easy to learn, easy to use and has great editing features.

Snap Seed Filter Screenshot
When you load and edit a photo, you can choose from two main editing toolsets: Tools and Filters.

Tools offers several editing choices: Tune, Crop, Transform, Select, Vignette, Details, Rotate, Brush and Spot Repair.

Filters includes Lens Blur, Tonal Contrasts, Drama, Grainy Film, Retrolux, Glamorous Glow, HDR Scape, Grunge, Vintage and Noir.

Unlike most editing apps, Snapseed puts each edit in its own layer.  This allows you to go back and change an edit even if you've made other edits.  So you can stack your edits and change each one before you finalize all of your changes on a final photo.

My favorite filter for scenic photos is the HDR (High Dynamic Range).

Here is a standard photo I took recent of a church in Puerto Vallarta, Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.

Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Puerto Vallarta Jalisco MexicoHDR Photo - Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Puerto Vallarta Jalisco Mexico 

Used in conjunction with Google Photos that I've previously shared with you, you can get great photo editing software and photo storage available from your mobile device.

You can download Snapseed from the iTunes Store HERE and from Google Play store HERE.



One Cool Tip.com
Cool Tips for a Cooler Life!

#snapseed #google #photoeditor #photos #iphone #android #mobile #app

Monday, June 22, 2015

Dropbox is Your Simple Cloud Storage Solution

Dropbox app icon
Where is that document?  Is this the latest version?

Working on various devices, PCs, phones, and tablets can mean that you don't have access to your documents, all of the time.  Or even the latest version of an important document.

Dropbox solves this simple problem by creating a shared file storage solution that allows you to save your documents and then access them from numerous devices.  It's a simple solution to a simple problem.

Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, photos, Excel spreadsheets can all be saved and accessed from a PC, smart phone, or tablet.

Download and install the personal version of Dropbox from http://www.dropbox.com and create your free account. Move your files that you want available from your PC to the Dropbox folder.  That's it! Your files are now available in "the cloud".

Dropbox the home for all your stuff
There are a number of ways you can now access and use your files:

  1. Your main PC - Use the dropbox folder as you would any disk drive.  Save and open files from your Dropbox folder.
  2. From another PC - Log in from the web on any other PC and you can access your files from only a web browser.  You can also download and install the Dropbox app if it's a PC you'll use often.  For example, you have both a tower and a laptop that you use often.
  3. From a tablet or smart phone - Download the mobile apps to have your shared files available to you on-the-go.  You can download the the iOS version HERE and the Android version HERE.

The free consumer version allows you to store 2G (2 gigs) of data.  You can earn extra space by inviting others (that's my invite!) to install the complete download to their PCs.  You can also buy extra space, 1T (that's 1 terrabyte) of space for $9.99 a month or $99 per year.  Many people use this extra space as a backup for important files, such as photos.  Here's more info from Dropbox on how you can get more space.  There is also a "Dropbox for Business" service that businesses can use to share and manage files within a company.

Dropbox has partnered with key IT and mobile services to make the service even more useful.  Many mobile apps now let you open or save files directly to a linked Dropbox account.  A good example is Microsoft's online Office software.  This partnership lets you open, edit and save your Microsoft documents from a mobile device to and from your Dropbox account.

Dropbox Sharing files and folders
Dropbox has a few other tricks up its sleeve.  You can share a folder with other people.  This is a great solution when a group of needs access to a common set of files.  Planning an event like a surprise birthday party?  Or a wedding?  Or a vacation?   Create a shared folder with all of the key documents so everyone can access the same information.

A new Dropbox feature lets you "Request" files from anyone, even if they don't have a Dropbox account.  This is useful if you need to collect information from people --- recipes, photos, contest submissions, etc.  And unlike a shared Dropbox folder, people can access or edit other documents.

Dropbox is a great service.  But it's not the only cloud service available. SugarSync is a great tool that is widely used for small businesses.  Google Drive offers the best collaborative editing tools online.  Google recently released its new Photos tool (that I reviewed HERE and HERE) which is offering free, unlimited storage for photos.  That's hard to beat.

If you are looking for a simple solution to a simple problem, Dropbox is your answer.

Note: As with any computer storage, always be careful what documents you store online.  Critical documents that contain social security numbers, bank accounts and credit card information should be limited to local devices and not available online.  That's good privacy protection no matter what cloud storage service you choose.



One Cool Tip.com
Daily Tips for a Cooler Life!

#android #cloud #storage #dropbox #iOS #Android #PC #mobile

Sunday, June 21, 2015

ICYMI: Battery Life, Embed Video, Google Tracking, iPhone Location Services

In Case You Missed It: One Cool Tip.com
This has been a popular week with some interesting tips.

Learn some cool tips on extending and boosting your smart phone battery life between charges, how to embed a YouTube video in a blog post or website, learn how to access your Google map location history and finally, learn how to ensure your iPhone is using location services for the correct apps.

In Case You Missed It, here's a recap of recent cool tips:

Extend Your Smart Phone Battery Life
Learn how to make your smart phone battery last longer between charges.

Embed a YouTube Video
Learn how you can embed a YouTube video in a blog post or website

Google Knows Where You've Been
Learn how to access your Google maps location history.  Where have you been?  Google knows.

My iPhone Has Lost Me
Some apps need to know where you are to provide their service.  learn how to ensure your iPhone settings are correct to let them do that.


One Cool Tip.com
Daily Tips for a Cooler Life!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

How to Extend Your Smart Phone Battery Life

Battery Life Indicator Low - Recharge
As we use our smartphones for extended time every day, we dread the warnings that we are low on power.

Nothing is worse than that sinking feeling that we're just not going to be able to make it to an outlet before we completely run out of juice.

It's almost as bad as not being able to find a restroom!

This has been a constant problem for all smart phone devices.

I wrote a tip here four years ago about the very subject especially for iPhones since it was such an issue.

But today's tip is for all devices since so many users face the same issue whether they are on iPhone, Android or Microsoft devices.

During the summer months when we are out on vacations and day trips, a few tips can mean the difference between still having battery power to take those precious family photos and post an update to Facebook or having a door stop in your pocket or purse.

So a few basic tips are in order before you head out the door on your next adventure:

  • Have a full battery charge before you leave your home or the hotel.
  • Bring an extra power cord along in case you find an outlet.  Many restaurants and bars now have power outlets and USB charging outlets at some tables.
  • Bring along a lighter plug adapter.  This is especially useful if you are renting a car on vacation so you can recharge while you are driving between locations.
  • Consider purchasing an extra rechargeable battery pack from Mophie or Anker.  Prices have decreased significantly and many brands and models can be purchased for $40-$100.
  • Set your phone to show you the estimated battery life as a "%" if it doesn't automatically (for the iPhone, the setting is in Settings > General > Usage > Battery Percentage

One tip I've found when away from home is to ask the hotel front desk if they have an extra charging cord.  So many people leave them that the front desk often has many extras you can keep.

A few more tips apply to most smartphones and can help you keep your phone from wasting precious battery life between charges.

Here are my top 5 tips for extending your Smart phone battery life:

1. Dim the Screen
Displaying a bright screen is a surefire way to drain your battery.  Reduce the brightness to just the most basic level that you can see.  You will see dramatic benefits.  You can also limit the time before the phone goes into the power mode to ensure that the screen goes black.  Or just manually put the phone to sleep when you are done viewing.

2. Turn Off Bluetooth
Bluetooth is great for that portable keyboard or wireless speakers, Turn it off when you do not specifically need it.

3. Turn Off Wi-Fi
If you are out and about and not on Wi-Fi, turn it off.  This keeps your phone from constantly looking for Wi-Fi signals.

4. Go Into Airplane Mode
If you are not expecting or needing your phone for calls and only need Wi-Fi, go in to Airplane Mode.  This disables the cellular radio in your phone and will extend your battery.  If you are out of your home phone area (some voice/data plans) or even the country, Airplane Mode also will keep you from incurring large and unexpected cellular bills.  And if you do not need Wi-Fi, then turn it off too (see number 3 above).

5. Close Any Open Apps
Keep only the apps you need open on the phone.  Close everything else.  You can also set the phone settings to stop any background app updates/refresh as well.

Depending up on the phone, you can also stop notifications, GPS locations, phone vibrations and email from updating automatically to extend your battery life.

These tips are just the most basic things you can do.  There are countless other tips but then your phone is practically worthless.

Finally, turn your phone completely off if you won't be using it for some time.

This will save your battery for when you do need it later and can't find a way to recharge before then.



One Cool Tip.com
Daily Tips for a Cooler Life!

#Android #battery #iPhone

Friday, June 19, 2015

Embed a YouTube Video

YouTube Logo
If you have a website or maintain a blog, you may want to include a YouTube video to make it more interesting.

Adding the URL to the video is a simple way to do that.  For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0

But YouTube makes it easy to embed the video into your blog or email post, like this:

But how do you do this?  It's rather easy.

When viewing a YouTube video, look for the "Share" link under the video.  Click it to show several other options.

The first option, "Share" will give you a short URL you can use, like https://youtu.be/9bZkp7q19f0

The second option "Embed" is the key to adding the video into the blog or website:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9bZkp7q19f0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

This is the html code that you'll include in the html code for the blog or website.  Most blogs let you access the HTML side of a post.  Drop the embed html from the YouTube into your html page and then return to the Compose side of your blog post.  Your video will now be displayed.

So to recap:

    1. Click the Share link under the video.
    2. Click the Embed link.
    3. Copy the html code provided in the expanded box.
    4. Paste the html code into your blog or website.

And that's that.  A bit of behind the scenes coding will make your blog or website look great with embedded video.



One Cool Tip.com
Cool Tips for a Cooler Life!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Google Knows Where You've Been.

Google Location History
Google knows where you've been.

Why?  You allowed it.

Maybe you didn't know you allowed it.

But you did.

It's not a bad thing.  It's part of the price you are paying for accessing the free services of Google on your mobile phone.  By letting Google know where you are, apps like Google Maps, and Waze can help you find your way.

You didn't think it was all free did you?

But you may be surprised to see that Google keeps a history of where you've been.  You may not remember where you went last Sunday.  But Google knows.

Google Location History CalendarYou can see your location history by visiting https://maps.google.com/locationhistory/

By clicking the calendar on the Location History page, you can go back and see where you traveled on a given day.

It's OK to be freaked out.  Everyone is at first.  And then we all start clicking around on dates to verify we really went where the map shows.

Your location history is not just known by Google. All, Most, Many mobile apps and websites keep track of your location history.  Google is more open about it and shows you your history.  Yay for openness!

Just below the Location History calendar there is a link to delete a single day or all of your location history.  Use it if you must.

In a  future Cool Tip, I'll show you how you can disable this Google feature on your iOS or Android phone.  But it will put a dent in your use of mobile apps.



One Cool Tip.com
Daily Tips for a Cooler Life!

#google #location #history #maps #privacy

Monday, June 15, 2015

My iPhone Has Lost Me!

iOS Privacy Location ServicesFinding your lost phone is often a daily experience for million of iPhone users.

But what happens when your iPhone loses YOU?

That's a very common occurrence in iOS 8 due to new privacy prompts.  It's easy to inadvertently turn off "location services" for key apps that often need to know where they are.  Examples include, Facebook, Twitter, Photos and Messages.

Letting the phone app know where it's location allows the app to provide better information for you.  For example, Facebook can show you nearby locations when you post a status update.

"It used to work but now it doesn't.  How does this happen?"

In iOS 8, new prompts pop up from time to time asking if the user wants to continue letting an app access its location.  If you should answer no, then the privacy setting for that app changes within the hidden settings and the app will no longer access to the GPS location service built within the iPhone.

So how do you change it back?

The location services for iOS and specific apps is hidden within the Settings and then Privacy options on iPhone.  You can check that Location Services are "On" for the phone and then check each app to ensure you do or do want to let that app have access to the phones location.  That's it.

One Cool Tip.com
Daily Tips for a Cooler Life!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

ICYMI: Google Photos, iPhone Restart, Periscope, Netflix at Marriott, Subway app, Skype for Web and Amazon Echo Reads Audible

It's been a busy week of One Cool Tips.  In case you missed any of these, check them out!

Upload Your Photos to Google Photos from Your Desktop
Learn ow you can upload all of your PC photos to the new Google Photos service.

How to Restart Your iPhone or iPad
Learn how you can restart your iPhone or iPad for better performance or to recover when it is frozen.

Broadcast from Your Mobile Phone with Periscope
You can be a star!  learn how to broadcast live from your mobile phone.

Watch Netflix from Marriott Hotel Guest Room TVs
Netflix is coming to Marriott hotel guest room TVs.  Learn when and where.

Use the Subway App to Skip the Line
Skip the line by using the new Subway mobile app.

Skype for Web Now Open to All Users
Who needs an app?  Learn how to use the new Skype for Web.

Amazon Echo Now Reads Audible Books
Learn more about how the amazing Amazon Echo can now read Audible books,

One Cool Tip.com
Daily Tips for a Cooler Life!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Upload Your Photos to Google from Your Desktop

Google Photos App icon
Google Photos is a must have app for your smart phone.  We shared that just a while ago.

With auto-uploading and free unlimited storage, your mobile photos will be safely backed up.

But did you know you can also upload all of your PC photos to Google Photos too?

To do this, download and install the free Google desktop loader app available from HERE.

Once installed, you can select which folders with pictures on your PC you want loaded into your Google Photos account.

Sit back.  This may take a while.

Once done, your photos will be backed up to Google and you'll have access to them from your PC as well as your mobile devices.

To view your photos online, just visit: https://photos.google.com/

Similar to the mobile app, you can intelligently search through your photos.  Want to see photos you've taken with a lake scene?  Just search for "lake".  How about photos of your pets?  Search for "cat", "dog", "horse", or "gerbil".  Without you having to tag your photos, Google will search your collection and display the results.  

While not always perfect, it's pretty darn good.