New Google Photos widget puts memories onto your iPhone homescreen

YouTube, the Google app, and Photos now offer options to show widgets via the new iOS 14:

To install a Google Widget, first make sure you have the Google Photos appYouTube Music app or Google app downloaded from the App Store. Then follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold  on the home screen of your iPhone or iPad
  2. Tap the plus icon on the upper left corner to open the widget gallery
  3. Search for & tap on the Google app, YouTube Music or the Google Photos app
  4. Swipe right/left to select the widget size
  5. Tap “Add Widget”
  6. Place the widget and tap “Done” at the upper right corner

Photoshop’s Sky Replacement feature was well worth the wait

Although I haven’t yet gotten to use it extensively, I’m really enjoying the newly arrived Sky Replacement feature in Photoshop. Check out a quick before/after on a tiny planet image:

Eye-popping portraits emerge as paint cascades down the human face

Man, these are stunning—and they’re all done in camera:

First coated in black, the anonymous subjects in Tim Tadder’s portraits are cloaked with hypnotic swirls and thick drips of bright paint. To create the mesmerizing images, the Encinitas, California-based photographer and artist pours a mix of colors over his sitters and snaps a precisely-timed shot to capture each drop as it runs down their necks or splashes from their chins.

You can find more of the artist’s work on Behance and Instagram.

Adobe MAX starts tomorrow, and you can attend for free

From Conan O’Brien to Tyler the Creator* to (of course) tons of deep dives into creative tech, Adobe has organized quite the line-up:

Make plans to join us for a uniquely immersive and engaging digital experience, guaranteed to inspire. Three full days of luminary speakers, celebrity appearances, musical performances, global collaborative art projects, and 350+ sessions — and all at no cost.

You can build your session list here. Looking forward to learning a lot this week!

*I’m reminded of Alec Baldwin as Tony Bennett talking about “Wiz Khalifa and Imagine Dragons—what a great, great, random pairing.” I can’t find that episode online, so what the heck, enjoy this one.

Photographic downfall: “Tsunami from Heaven”

This is lovely—especially from a safe, dry distance:

PetaPixel writes,

A couple of years ago, adventure photographer and Visit Austria creator Peter Maier captured a stunning rainstorm timelapse titled ‘Tsunami from Heaven’… It was captured from the Alpengasthof Bergfried hotel in Carinthia, Austria, and shows a sudden cloudburst (AKA microburst or downburst) soaking an area around Lake Millstatt

Snap puts the AR in graffiti art

The notion of a metaverse, “a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space,” has long beguiled those of us captivated by augmented reality. Now Snap has been doing the hard work of making this more real, being able to scan & recognize one’s surroundings and impose a “persistent, shared AR world built right on top of your neighborhood.” Check it out:

This experience (presently available on just one street in London, but presumably destined to reach many others) builds on the AR Landmarkers work the company did previously. (As it happens, I think David Salesin—who led Adobe Research for many years—contributed to this effort during his stopover at Snap before joining Google Research.)

Come see the AR feature I’ve been working on all year!

I’m delighted to share that my team’s work to add 3D & AR automotive results to Google Search—streaming in cinematic quality via cloud rendering—has now been announced! Check out the demo starting around 36:30:

Here’s how we put it on via the Google Keyword blog:

Bring the showroom to you with AR

You can easily check out what the car looks like in different colors, zoom in to see intricate details like buttons on the dashboard, view it against beautiful backdrops and even see it in your driveway. We’re experimenting with this feature in the U.S. and working with top auto brands, such as Volvo and Porsche, to bring these experiences to you soon.

Cloud streaming enables us to take file size out of the equation, so we can serve up super detailed visuals from models that are hundreds of megabytes in size:

Right now the feature is in testing in the US, so there’s a chance you can experience it via Android right now (with iOS planned soon). We hope to make it available widely soon, and I can’t wait to hear what you think!

AR in Google Maps can point you to your friends

This is one of the far-flung projects I’ve been glad to help support. New features (like this one that’s available on Pixel, and coming soon to iOS & Android):

When a friend has chosen to share their location with you, you can easily tap on their icon and then on Live View to see where and how far away they are–with overlaid arrows and directions that help you  know where to go.

It’s also getting smarter about recognizing landmarks:

Soon, you’ll also be able to see nearby landmarks so you can quickly and easily orient yourself and understand your surroundings. Live View will show you how far away certain landmarks are from you and what direction you need to go to get there.

Chrome for iOS improves password autofill, Face ID integration

Teamwork makes the dream work, baby:

Improvements to password filling on iOS

We recently launched Touch-to-fill for passwords on Android to prevent phishing attacks. To improve security on iOS too, we’re introducing a biometric authentication step before autofilling passwords. On iOS, you’ll now be able to authenticate using Face ID, Touch ID, or your phone passcode. Additionally, Chrome Password Manager allows you to autofill saved passwords into iOS apps or browsers if you enable Chrome autofill in Settings.