Google Photos Update Re-Enables Casting

New Albums View in Google Photos

There is an update to Google Photos for Android that is now in the Play Store that addresses a bug with Casting your photos.  Late last week, the photo app was updated but users began experiencing a problem with it continually prompting for Google Cast credentials and a PIN, even for users who didn’t have a Cast nearby.  On Monday a small patch went out that disabled Casting in Google Photos and the update today fixes that bug and re-enables the feature.

If you were one of the users impacted by the Casting bug, you certainly need to download this update as soon as it is available on your account.

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Google Home Integration with Netflix Rolling Out

Google Home

Google Home owners have a nice update rolling out to the Google Assistant enabled Smart Speaker.  Google is rolling out an update behind-the-scenes that is enabling the ability to add your Netflix account to the app as well as Google Photos.  When it hits your account and it is enabled on the server side by Google, it means you will be able to give your Home commands to show Netflix content or your Google Photos content by voice command.

The Netflix integration is something that most Home users, me included, have been waiting to see.  It was demonstrated at the Google event back in October and gives you the ability to instantly start watching content beyond that of Google’s services (like YouTube and Google Play Music) on your Chromecast or your Cast enabled television.

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Google PhotoScan Makes Capturing Old Photos Easy

Google is in the process of dropping a new app into the Play Store, Google PhotoScan.  As the name suggest, PhotoScan is aimed at making capturing old photos and them storing them electronically (like in Google Photos) painless but in great quality.  The app detects edges, straightens the image, rotates it to the correct orientation, and removes glare.  Then you can save it to your Google Photos account with a single tap.  And remember – if you are using Google Photos and storing photos in High Quality (photos under 16MP really benefit from this) then they don’t count against your Google Drive storage quota.

Using Google PhotoScan is easy.  With the app on your Android phone, point your camera at the photo you want to scan.  In the PhotoScan app, after you line up the photo and tap the shutter button, there will be four dots on the screen.  Line up the camera with those four dots and PhotoScan stitches things together to create a high quality digital image of your photograph.

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Google Photos Now Shows Albums in Search Results

As a Google Photos Top Contributor, there are a few feature requests that I hear pretty regularly.  One of those is now off the list:  Albums in search results.  The latest update to the Photos app now shows you albums in your search results when you are looking for a photo (or in this case a set of photos) within the app.  It is a small feature mind you and frankly, should have been there a while ago.  But it is there now and it is a good proof point that Google does take user feedback seriously.  With any Google app, if there is a feature you want to see, use the Feedback feature to get that to Google.  It really does work.

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Google Photos Adds Photo Rotation Assistant

Google has rolled out another update to Google Photos and if you look at the release notes, you would think it was just a but fix release.  However, the new 2.1 version of the app has a new Assistant card that can help you with photos you shot sideways.  In previous versions of Photos – and other photo apps for that matter – if you shot a photo that was sideways, you would have to manually go in and edit that file by rotating it.  You can still do that in this update to Photos but now the app can analyze your photos and determine if it is sideways.  If so, it will give you an Assistant card suggesting that it can auto-rotate the photo for you without you having to manually do so.

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Google Photos Update Brings Photo Sorting in Albums

Google Photos has been updated for Android and with it comes a long requested feature of the app.  Version 2.0 is out now in the Play Store and if you have the app already installed, you will get an OTA update for it over the course of the next few days.  The new feature?  The ability to permanently organize photos in albums.

Prior to this release, photos in an album could be moved around but they could not be sorted automatically (say oldest to newest).  This update to Google Photos brings that feature.

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Google Photos for Web Now Handles Burst Photos Correctly

A small but important update has rolled out on Google Photos online.  The update now has burst photos that you have taken from your phone or tablet and have sync’d to the cloud rendered as a group of photos and not individual photos.  The change follows an update to the Google Photos Android and iOS apps a few weeks back where the same functionality was introduced.  Now you will get the same viewing experience across the web and your devices of burst photos.

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Google Photos Hits 500 Million Downloads

Google Photos, the photo and video storage app-meets-service for Android and iOS, has hit an important milestone in the Google Play Store.  The app has now been downloaded an eye watering 500 million times, putting it in very rarefied air in the Play Store.  To put this into perspective, Snapchat is only in the 100 million download range along with Pokemon Go.  Yep, the app that has been the craze for the last month hasn’t come close to where Photos is when it comes to downloads.  Even Netflix is only at 100 million.  You get the idea:  500 million is a big deal.

For those of you who haven’t tried Google Photos, is stores all of your photos online (which you can get to via https://photos.google.com) so your photos are stored not only on your phone but in the cloud.  When you use the Free Up Space feature (which was highlighted in adverts during the Olympics), the photos are deleted from your phone but kept safe online.  Even better, if you store photos in High Quality, it doesn’t count against your Google Drive storage.

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