Google Photos libraries come to Android gallery apps – but not on Samsung phones

New collages on Google Photos
(Image credit: Google)

Android smartphones generally offer two different photo gallery apps – they’ll have Google Photos, and their own app as part of the brand’s suite of software (similar to how many Android phones can have two mail and browser apps). But it would be a lot simpler for your image management if you could combine the apps into one – and that might soon be the case for a few Android phone brands.

As first reported by Android Police, with the release of OxygenOS 14 and ColorOS 14 – both based on Android 14 – on OnePlus, Oppo and Realme phones, and Gallery app version 3.62.10-global on Xiaomi, the devices now all offer Google Photos integration in their own photo gallery app.

To turn it on, just open the gallery app, go into the app’s settings menu, look for a 'Backup to Google Photos option', and tap the Backup toggle. This will take you to the main Google Photos app, which will double-check that you want to give the gallery app access to Google Photos; if you confirm and complete the process you’ll be able to not only back up your snaps and videos to Google Photos through the gallery app, but you’ll be able to see your whole Google Photos library in the app too.

The only thing that doesn’t sync up are albums you create – your gallery app albums won’t appear in Google Photos, and your Google Photos albums won’t appear in the gallery app.

To turn off Google Photos integration on your OnePlus, Oppo, Realme, or Xiaomi phone you’ll just need to open up Google Photos, go to your settings, open the 'Apps & devices' menu, and then select Google Photos access. Here you can change which third-party apps have access to your library.

Where is Samsung's support? 

Samsung Galaxy S24 on a yellow background

Where is the Samsung's Google Photos support? (Image credit: Future / Samsung)

Unfortunately, Samsung users are missing out on the Google Photos integration, as are owners of devices that don’t support Android 14 – though interestingly Google Photos does offer support for gallery apps running on Android 11 or later, so there’s a chance we might see it come to older devices.

As for Samsung, while it has partnered with Google on devices like the upcoming Samsung XR headset, bringing Google’s Wear OS to its Galaxy Watches, and an improved Nearby Share, there’s no telling when or even if it’ll add Google Photos support to its gallery app. While the two brands may cooperate in many areas, they're still independent, and some odd app interactions – like a lack of Google Photos integration – can persist for longer than most would expect.

So we’ll have to wait and see if Google Photos integration will come to Samsung in the future, but we’d be surprised if it doesn't at some point, given how useful this solution is for people who hate having to use two different image library apps.

You might also like

Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.