Google Photos is a must-have app for any smartphone photographer, offering unlimited cloud storage of your snaps and smart image recognition within your pics. Organising your library automatically, it’s getting a handful of big updates off the back of the Google I/O 2017 event.
The headline addition is Photo Books. Letting you make and order a physical photo album in minutes, you can search by person, location (or any other search parameter Google Photos recognises) and the app’s machine learning capabilities will automatically pick what it considers the best snaps before sending them off to be printed in book for you.
You’ll be able to tweak the suggestions manually, but the key here is the seamless speed of it all. Photo Books will work alongside your Google account, so it’s already aware of your address and payment details, letting you order the book within seconds of the app making its suggestions.
Photo Books launch in the US today, and will expand to more countries soon. Pricing for the US launch sees paperback Photo Books priced at $9.99, and hardback versions costing $19.99. It'll be available on Android and iOS devices, as well as through Google Photo's browser build.
Share, share, share
Suggested Sharing is another new feature. It’ll highlight great snaps using machine learning, suggesting which masterful images to share with your pals – and even recognising the people involved and nudging you to fire it off their way.
Google is also introducing a Shared Libraries function. You’ll be able to control which aspects of your personal library are available to your friends and family – perhaps your husband or wife gets access to all photos of your kids, or your pals get all photos of your college group.
The feature can be set so that shared photos appear seamlessly alongside your pal’s own photos too. Crucially, in terms of privacy, you control all aspects of what to share – or what not to.
It’s a more seamless sharing method than the “Shared Albums” function currently offered – though potentially more dangerous if you’ve got specific things you’d rather not accidentally share...
Hit the link below for our continued coverage of Google’s annual I/O showcase.