Category Archives: Google Photos

Google Photos: Badass in a motorcycle jacket (?)

Heh—I enjoyed this mental image from Fast Company:

With its new Photo Scan (Android, iOS) app, Google basically donned a leather motorcycle jacket, strutted into a party full of regular photo-scanning apps, knocked everyone’s drinks out of their hands, kissed the prettiest one straight on the mouth, and told the DJ to take a hike.

They go on to say,

If you’ve got old photos to digitize, this should be your first stop. The app is fast, accurate, and best of all, free. And it’s a complete no-brainer if you already store your snaps on Google Photos, as it’ll zing all your scans there automatically.

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[YouTube]

How To: Changing photo dates in Google Photos

So, now that you’ve downloaded PhotoScan & digitized a bunch of images, how can you give them proper dates? Here’s how:

On photos.google.com, just select the group of photos you’d like to adjust and click “Edit date & time” in the menu dropdown. You’ll be able to shift or set the time stamps, and preview the changes before saving.

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Here’s a quick video demo (showing how to edit one image, but applicable to multiple simultaneously):

[YouTube]

Google Photos introduces new concept movies

The first batch of movie concepts (“the kinds of movies you might make yourself, if you just had the time”) that Photos introduced in September have been really well received, and now the team is rolling out more:

More automatic movies, made for you: baby’s first months, holiday traditions, highlights from the year, and more.

As before, just live your life, back up your pics, and keep an eye out for movies arriving via the Assistant in Photos.

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[YouTube]

The Google Photos editor gets smarter & more powerful

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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When I joined the Google Photos team, they’d just integrated Snapseed into Google+ (the predecessor of Photos). As I hope is obvious, I’m a huge Snapseed fan, but when we looked at what most users actually did in G+ (crop, rotate, tweak brightness, and maybe apply a filter), it became clear that Snapseed was dramatically more complex & powerful than they needed.

Therefore we made the hard decision to reset & build a new editor from scratch. We aimed to deliver great results in a single tap, offer just a few powerful sliders (which under the hood adjusted numerous parameters), and keep Snapseed just one extra tap away (via the overflow menu) for nerds like me.

The vision was always to keep learning from users’ behavior, then thoughtfully enable just the controls needed to deliver extra power when needed. I’m delighted to say that Photos now does just that: the update released Tuesday on iOS, Android, and Web (try it here) manages to keep a simple top-level UI while revealing a lot more of the power under the hood.

The filters UI applies Auto (which can now produce more accurate results) as part of every filter:

These unique looks make edits based on the individual photo and its brightness, darkness, warmth, or saturation, before applying the style. All looks use machine intelligence to complement the content of your photo. [1]

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In the adjustments section, in addition to the Light, Color, and Pop sliders:

  • Light opens to reveal Exposure, Contrast, Highlights, Shadows, Whites, Blacks, and Vignette
  • Color opens to reveal Saturation, Warmth, Tint, Skin Tone, and Deep Blue

I continue to find Auto to be highly effective for the bulk of my images, but I like being able to pop the hood when needed.

Please take the new features for a spin & let us know what you think!

Oh, and since you’ve been kind enough to read this far, here are some useful shortcuts for use on desktop:

  • E to enter & exit the editor
  • R to enter & exit crop/rotate
  • Shift-R to rotate 90º
  • A to Auto Enhance
  • O (press & hold) to see original
  • Z to zoom
  • Left/right arrows to move among images
  • Cmd-C/V to copy/paste edits among images
  • After clicking a slider, use arrow keys to adjust it & press Tab to put focus onto the next slider

Introducing Google PhotoScan

“Photos from the past, meet scanner from the future.” I think you’re gonna dig this (available now on Android & iOS). 🙂

Don’t just take a picture of a picture. Create enhanced digital scans, with automatic edge detection, perspective correction, and smart rotation.

PhotoScan stitches multiple images together to remove glare and improve the quality of your scans.

Check it out:

So, how does it work? Let’s hear right from the team:

Enjoy, and as always please let us know what you think!

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[YouTube 1 & 2]

New people + highlights features arrive in Google Photos

I’m loving the little galleries I get like “John + Finn,” “Recent highlights of Henry,” etc. The team writes,

First, Google Photos will now help you rediscover old memories of the people in your most recent photos. As your photo library continues to grow, we hope that features like this one make it easier to look back at your fondest memories.

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Second, we’re making it easier to look over the most recent highlights from your photos. If you take a lot of photos of your child, for example, you may occasionally get a card showing the best ones from the last month. (Hint hint: grandparents would love to see these!)

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Google Photos now turns videos into weirdly charming little animations

“We’ve always made animations from photos,” the team writes, “but now we make animations from your videos, too. And not just any videos. We look for segments that capture activity — a jump into the pool, or even just an adorable smile — and create short animations that are easy to share.”

Here’s one it generated of the Micronaxx:
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And it made another from the luau we attended last week:
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As before, you don’t need to do anything: just let Photos back up your vids, then watch for Assistant notifications.

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Google Photos introduces direct sharing

I think you’ll find this rather slick:

Now, with Google Photos, you pick the photos, tap “share” and select the people you want to share with, instead of the apps—and we take care of the rest.

  • If your friends are on Google Photos, they’ll get a notification.
  • If you share via phone number, they’ll get a link to the photos and videos via SMS.
  • Email addresses will get an email with a link from Google Photos.
So you can spend less time toggling from app to app to share photos — dealing with failed texts or email attachment limits along the way — and more time enjoying life’s photo-worthy moments.

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[YouTube]