Category Archives: Google Photos

Red hearts, white stars (but no purple horseshoes) come to Google Photos

Been a long time in coming, but we’re getting there at last:

The Favorite (star) button will only appear on photos in your own library, allowing you to mark an individual item as a favorite which, in turn, will automatically populate a new photo album with just your favorite photos. […]

Meanwhile, the heart icon is Google Photos’ version of the “like.” This will appear only on those photos that have been shared with you from your family and friends.

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Check out Color Pop in Google Photos

In past posts I’ve talked about how our team has enabled realtime segmentation of videos, and yesterday I mentioned body-pose estimation running in a Web browser. Now that tech stack is surfacing in Google Photos, powering the new effect shown below and demoed by Sundar super briefly here.

Starting today, you may see a new photo creation that plays with pops of color. In these creations, we use AI to detect the subject of your photo and leave them in color–including their clothing and whatever they’re holding–while the background is set to black and white. You’ll see these AI-powered creations in the Assistant tab of Google Photos.

Thoughts? If you could “teach Google Photoshop,” what else would you have it create for you?

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Try Google Lens inside Google Photos

Now available on both iOS & Android, and offering a few neat tricks:

Lens works on photos of business cards, books, landmarks and buildings, paintings in a museum, plants or animals, and flyers and event billboards. When you use Lens on a photo that has phone numbers or an address, you can automatically save this information as a contact on your phone, while events will be added to your calendar.

 

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“Hey Google, define what’s a beautiful photograph…”

You know how Google Assistant can say “Hey, [stateyourname], you should probably leave for the airport by 5 to make it in time for your 7 o’clock flight?” I want it to also say, “You know, it’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. Would you like this photo book to show up on your mom’s doorstep then together with some nice flowers?” Take my money, robot; make me into a better son!

Clearly such work involves a lot of moving parts & hard-to-define qualities (e.g. whether the memories evoked by an image are happy or sad may change greatly depending on things entirely outside the pixels). On the visual quality front, however, my teammates are making interesting progress. As Engadget writes,

If Google has its way, AI may serve as an art critic. It just detailed work on a Neural Image Assessment (NIMA) system that uses a deep convolutional neural network to rate photos based on what it believes you’d like, both technically and aesthetically. It trains on a set of images based on a histogram of ratings (such as from photo contests) that give a sense of the overall quality of a picture in different areas, not just a mean score or a simple high/low rating.

 Check out the Research blog for details on how it works.

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Google Photos gets pet-savvy

“Dogs and cats clustered together—mass hysteria!” Google Photos can now search by breed (e.g. Maine Coon, Labrador), and it clusters pets alongside people:

When you want to look back on old photos of Oliver as a puppy or Mr. Whiskers as a kitten, you no longer need to type “dog” or “cat” into search in Google Photos. Rolling out in most countries today, you’ll be able to see photos of the cats and dogs now grouped alongside people, and you can label them by name, search to quickly find photos of them, or even better, photos of you and them. This makes it even easier to create albums, movies, or even a photo book of your pet.

Also, don’t forget to check your Assistant to see whether you’ve received a deliriously cornball-soundtracked pet movie. [Via

New Live Photos hotness in Google Photos, Motion Stills

Motion Stills lets you make stabilized multi-clip movies, animated collages, loops, and more from Live Photos. Now version 2.0 for iOS adds 

  • Capture Motion Stills right inside the app.
  • Capture and save Live Photos on any device.
  • Swipe left to delete Motion Stills in the stream.
  • Export collages as GIFs.

The app’s available on Android, too. Android Police writes, “It’s is essentially a GIF camera, but the app stabilizes the video while you’re recording. You can record for a few seconds, or use the fast-forward mode to speed up and stabilize longer videos.”

Not to be outdone, Google Photos on Web, iOS, and Android now displays Live Photos as well as Motion Photos from the new Pixel 2, giving you a choice of whether to display the still or moving portion of the capture. Here’s a quick sample on the Web. Note the Motion On/Off toggle up top.

I’m thrilled to have joined the team behind Motion Stills, so please let us know what you think & what else you’d like to see!

“I hate Google Photos”—but in a good way!

Heh—nice to see concept movies (assembled from thematically related pics/vids) really resonating with this Reddit user:

You made a grown ass man cry like a baby by automatically making a video titled “They grow up so fast”.. which has about 45 clips of videos with my daughter in it.. aged around 4-5 months to 22 months (current).

I have watched that 3 minute long video 3 times so far.. first time while I cried like a baby.. next two times with my jaw dropped due to the technology that made this possible.

I got one of these myself on Saturday, and now my mom & wife can’t stop watching our Henry Seamus grow from cooing blob to fun-sized weirdo. Cue gratuitous showing!

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[YouTube]