Google will provide unlimited storage of all photos up to 16 megapixels and high-definition video up to 1080p. The service, called Google Photos, will be available as an app on Android and Apple devices, and on a website, http://photos.google.com. It's a variation of the photo-management tool on Google Plus, a social networking service that has struggled to compete against Facebook since its 2011 debut.

"There has been a renaissance in the thinking of what Google Plus is for," said Bradley Horowitz, Google's vice president of photos and streams. Google Plus will stick around, Horowitz said, although it is likely to focus on bringing together people who share common interests and hobbies instead of trying to connect friends and family.

Google Photos is importing technology from Google Plus to automatically sort images into common bundles tied together by a vacation destination, activity, or even species of animal. Other tools will automatically create slideshows and albums accompanied by music.