Category Archives: Google Photos

Google Photos gets a Map view & improved Memories

Overall the app is now organized into three tabs. Notably:

As part of the new search tab, you’ll see an interactive map view of your photos and videos, which has been one of our most-requested features since we launched Google Photos. You can pinch and zoom around the globe to explore photos of your travels…

In addition, the “Stories”-style strip up top is getting upgrades:

We’re adding more types of Memories, like the best pics of you and your closest friends and family over the years, trips, and even just the highlights from last week… We’ve also moved our automatic creations–like movies, collages, animations, stylized photos and more–from the “For you” tab (which is now gone) and into Memories.

Google Photos enables more private album sharing

It’s always been easy to create a sharable link for your albums, but it wasn’t possible to prevent others from resharing that link. Now Photos offers more control:

Last December, we launched direct sharing to make it easy to share one-off photos and videos in Google Photos by adding them to an ongoing, private conversation in the app. Today, we’re bringing a similar experience to shared albums. Rolling out this week, when sharing an album, the default option will be to share with a specific person or people via their Google account. This gives you more control over who’s added to the album.

“Loretta,” Google’s touching Super Bowl ad

“A man reminisces about the love of his life with a little help from Google.” 😢😌

If you’d like to try some of these things for yourself:

First you’ll need the Google Assistant.

00:12 “Show me photos of me and Loretta”
To use the Assistant to pull up photos, make sure you and your favorite people are tagged in your Google Photos. Then just say, “Hey Google, show me photos of me and [their name]”

00:21 “Remember, Loretta hated my mustache.”
To try this one, just say, “Hey Google, remember…” and then whatever you’d like the Assistant to help you recall later. Like “Hey Google, remember Dad’s shoe size is 8 and half” or “remember Maria loves lilies.” Then, to see everything you’ve asked the Assistant to remember, just say, “Hey Google, what did I tell you to remember?”

00:39 “Show me photos from our anniversary”
To see photos from a wedding, anniversary, birthday, or graduation, you’ll need a Google Photos account, and you’ll also need to tell your Assistant the specific date. Just say something like, “Hey Google, remember my anniversary is May 18th” or “remember Mark’s birthday is March 30th.” Then you can use that information in many ways, like “Hey Google, show me photos from our anniversary” or “Hey Google, remind me to buy flowers on Mark’s birthday.”

00:51 “Play our favorite movie.”
First, tell your Google Assistant what your favorite movie is by saying, “Hey Google, our favorite movie is Casablanca.” Once you’ve purchased your favorite movie on Google Play Movies or YouTube, all you have to say is, “Hey Google, play our favorite movie” and the movie will start playing.

[YouTube]

Google Pixel introduces post-capture Portrait blur

🎉

Now, you can turn a photo into a portrait on Pixel by blurring the background post-snap. So whether you took the photo years ago, or you forgot to turn on portrait mode, you can easily give each picture an artistic look with Portrait Blur in Google Photos.

I’m also pleased to see that the realtime portrait-blurring tech my team built has now come to Google Duo for use during video calls:

Google Photos improves sharing & conversation

“Every app expands until it includes chat…” 🙃

Be that as it may, I’m happy to see Google Photos making it easier to share & converse directly with small groups:

Now when you share one-off photos and videos, you’ll have the option to add them to an ongoing, private conversation in the app. This gives you one place to find the moments you’ve shared with your friends and family…

You can like photos or comment in the conversation, and you can easily save these photos or videos to your own gallery. This feature isn’t designed to replace the chat apps you already use, but we do hope it improves sharing memories with your friends and family in Google Photos. This is gradually rolling out over the next week.

Bonus smart-ass response o’ the day:

The new Google Nest Hub looks to be a terrific photo frame

I’m not kidding (or shilling for my employer) when I tell you that:

  1. The 7” Google Nest Hubs in our kitchen & my parents’ kitchen are quite possibly the most popular items in the room.
  2. Setting up an auto-populated photo stream of our & my brothers’ kids is easily our most indispensable use of Google Photos.
  3. Seeing our kids on screen every day actually motivated my folks to come visit more frequently.

Now a new 10” sibling (with video chat!) has joined the product lineup, and it can do tons of stuff. Check it out:

[YouTube]

“Take that, impossible wifi passwords!”

The Google Photos team is adding the ability to search for text in images, then copy & paste it. Stay tuned for details.

One billion+ people now use Google Photos every month

🎉🎉🎉

Google product teams aspire to “three-comma moments” (i.e. reaching 1,000,000,000 users); congrats to Photos for reaching joining this rarefied club!

Aiming to extend Photos magic to even more people around the world, the team has introduced Gallery Go, a super lightweight app designed for offline use, especially on entry-level phones.

The Verge writes,

Gallery Go is a new app from Google designed to let people with unreliable internet connections organize and edit their photos. Like Google’s regular Photos app it uses machine learning to organize your photos. You can also use it to auto-enhance your pictures and apply filters. The difference is that Gallery Go is designed to work offline, and takes up just 10MB of space on your phone.

[YouTube]

No more sync between Google Photos & Drive

It was powerful but confusing. The team writes,

Starting in July, new photos and videos from Drive won’t automatically show in Photos. Similarly, new photos and videos in Photos will not be added to the Photos folder in Drive. Photos and videos you delete in Drive will not be removed from Photos. Similarly, items you delete in Photos will not be removed from Drive. This change is designed to help prevent accidental deletion of items across products.

See also more detailed info as needed.

FWIW I bailed on this integration a long while back. Instead I now import images from my SLR & Insta360 to my Mac; edit/convert the selects to JPEG via Lightroom Classic & the Insta app; then drag the JPEGs into a photos.google.com in a browser window (so they’re grouped with my phone pics/vids); and finally back up the originals to an external HD. It’s not exactly elegant, but it’s simple enough and it works.

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