Category: Google Photos

Google Photos New Color Pop Feature Now Starting to Roll Out

The new Color Pop feature that was highlighted this past week at Google I/O in Google Photos is now starting to roll out to users.  The feature takes an image in your photos library that has a bright colored subject and then turns the background black & white.

The feature, at least right now, is 100% driving by Google Assistant, the AI built into Google Photos.  That means you can’t force the issue.  If the AI finds a photo in your library that meets its criteria, it will provide you the photo in the Assistant tab where you can save it to your library.

Google Photos to Get AI-Driven Suggestions for Photo Sharing and Enhancements

Google Photos is arguably one of the most popular and successful apps that Google has produced today.  But that success is not stopping the company from continue to develop and push Artificial Intelligence – which is already deep inside photos – even further.  Today at I/O, Google announced that Photos will be gaining several AI-driven suggestion features and the ability to add color to black & white photos.

The new suggestions will be based on the content of the photos and the overall quality of them.  If there are pictures of friends for example which are identified by Google Photos, you could see a suggestion to share those photos with that person.  Likewise, if a photo can be enhanced, the suggestions will give you one-tap ability to enhance the photo to improve it.

Google Lens Can Now Identify Dog and Cat Breeds in Assistant and Google Photos

Google has begun rolling out a new cloud-side update to Google Lens, the applet inside of Google Assistant and Google Photos, enabling it to identify both dog and cat breeds you see or in your photos.  The new feature is making its way out broadly to users so it is likely that you already have it so long as you have the latest Google app on your phone.

Previously, when you used Google Lens on a photo of a dog or cat, either by using it in Assistant or in Photos, it would simply come up with a generic “looks like a cat” or “a cat” but it didn’t provide any breed information.

Google Photos Drops Support for Android Jelly Bean

A new build of Google Photos is now rolling out into the Google Play Store and while it doesn’t bring any new features, it does raise the oldest supported version of Android.  The new Photos build is version 3.14 and with it, API level 19 is the oldest supported level.  That, for those who don’t recall, is Android KitKat.

The dropping of the now five year old Android Jelly Bean in this update to Google Photos isn’t a surprise.  Google has been slowly, and mostly quietly, moving the minimum supported API level up on their apps over the past year.  It is all in an effort to keep their development activities focused more on current versions of Android where they can offer more features.

Google Photos Now Can Generate Theme Movies from Your Photos

Google Photos has a new video creation feature that can turn photos from your library into a themed video for you to share.  The video can be nine different themes including, appropriately enough for February, St Valentine’s Day.  The feature is rolling out now to all accounts on Google Photos both on the web and in the app.

The nine themes include:

  • They Grow Up So Fast – takes photos from your library of children as they get older
  • Meow Movie – photos of your cat into a movie because, cat videos
  • Doggie Movie
  • In Loving Memory – video for friends and family who have passed on
  • Selfie Movie
  • Smiles of 2017
  • Mother’s Day Movie
  • Father’s Day Movie
  • Valentine’s Day Movie

Using the new tool is as simple as selecting the theme you want, then selecting the subject of that video and tap next.  Once you do that, Photos will start creating the video behind the scenes on your phone.

App Preview Messaging Now Supported for Google Photos

Following the release of App Preview Messaging for Google Allo and Google Duo, support for the feature has now been added to Google Photos.  If you don’t recall what App Preview Messaging is exactly, it is a function that allows those who don’t have the app installed to get a notification on their Android phone.  In this case, they can then action that notification by viewing the photo or, optionally, installing the Google Photos app.

The feature works when someone shares a photo with you from Photos and sends that share notification to your mobile number.  This will trigger the notification which will have the name of the sender.  If you don’t know the sender, you can block them or you can open the notification to see the content.  From there, you are taken to the Photos website where you can install the app on your phone.

Google Backup & Sync Update Brings Network-Attached Storage Support

A new update to the Google Backup & Sync app for MacOS and Windows 10 is rolling out that brings a lot of fixes and a few new features.  The updated build is version 3.39 for those keeping score at home.  This new build was released on February 1st so it is likely that you already have it installed as Google pushes updates to Backup & Sync behind the scenes.

For those who use Network-Attached Storage (NAS), this update is an important one for you as it is finally supported.  You can now backup files and folders stored on a NAS to your Google Drive.  The folder has to be mounted and you will be able to add a NAS folder from the My Computer section of Google Backup & Sync.

Google Photos Update Brings Improved Notifications for Photo Books

A new update to the Google Photos app is now rolling out in the Play Store, bringing several tweaks and enhancements to the photo storage app.  The update is version 3.13 for those keeping score at home.  One of the first changes you will notice is around Photo Books.  In this update, you can now get much more granular around book notifications, your draft photo books and promotions being offered.  Previously these were on by default.

There is also a new Share Back feature.  This works when you have an album shared with you in Google Photos.  In the overflow menu, you have the option to share back to that person immediately.  This will be a great feature for friends who want to share albums together.  For family members, it is still recommend you use the Partner Account sharing feature.

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