Category Archives: Google Photos

Changes are coming to Google Photos storage

TL;DR: High quality storage will no longer be unlimited, but this won’t happen for a while; free storage remains a generous 15GB (more than enough for most people); and 100GB of storage costs two bucks a month.

Beginning June 1, any new photo or video uploaded in High quality in Google Photos will count toward your free 15 GB storage quota or any additional storage you’ve purchased as a Google One member. To make this transition easier, we’ll exempt all High quality photos and videos you back up before June 1. This includes all of the High quality photos and videos you currently store with Google Photos. Most people who back up in High quality should have years before they need to take action—in fact, we estimate that 80 percent of you should have at least three years before you reach 15 GB. You can learn more about this change in our Google Photos post.

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

Interactive Portrait Light comes to Google Photos on Pixel; editor gets upgraded

I have been waiting, I kid you not, since the Bush Administration to have an easy way to adjust lighting on faces. I just didn’t expect it to appear on my telephone before it showed up in Photoshop, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Anyway, check out what you can now do on Pixel 4 & 5 devices:

This feature arrives, as PetaPixel notes, as one of several new Suggestions:

Nestled into a new ‘Suggestions’ tab that shows up first in the Photos editor, the options displayed there “[use] machine learning to give you suggestions that are tailored to the specific photo you’re editing.” For now, this only includes three options—Color Pop, Black & White, and Enhance—but more suggestions will be added “in the coming months” to deal specifically with portraits, landscapes, sunsets, and beyond.

Lastly, the photo editor overall has gotten its first major reorganization since we launched it in 2015:

Canon enables easy WiFi backup to Google Photos

“Eh, who’s gonna care about that—10 million people? Thbbbt!” — an ex-Adobe colleague at Apple in 2011 when I asked for better camera->device->cloud integration.

I’ve remarked before on my saltiness at our whole industry’s rather, er, sedate pace in enabling slicker integration between dedicated cameras & cloud backup/editing, so I’m really happy to see Canon & Google collaborating to automate camera->cloud transfer:

The team writes,

With the latest version of the image.canon app (available on Android or iOS) and a compatible Canon camera, you can choose to automatically transfer original quality photos to Google Photos, eliminating the hassle of using your computer or phone to back them up.

In addition to a compatible Canon camera and the image.canon app, you’ll also need a Google One membership to use this feature. To help get started, Canon users will get one month of Google One free, providing access to up to 100 GB of cloud storage, as well as other member benefits, such as premium support from Google experts and family sharing.

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: